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Ncu) (Sbitiou 

With Critical and Explanatory Notes, Life of Dante, and Chronology 



Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. 

OCT 30 1959 




I.iFK OF Danib ,.vii 




TTie writer, having lost his way in a gloomy forest, and being hindered by certain wild beasts from ascendhig a mountain, is met 
by Virgil, who premises to show him the punishments of Hell, and afterwards of Purgatory; and that he shall then be 
conducted by Beatrice into Paradise. He follows the Roman poet ..•.....•••I 


After the invocation, which poets are used to prefix to their works, he shows that, on a consideration of his own strength, he 
doubted whether it sufficed for tlie journey proposed to him, but that, being comforted by Virgil, he at last took courage, 
and followed him as his guide and master .7 


Dante, following Virgil, comes to the gate of Hell ; where, after having read the dreadful words that are written thereon, they 
both enter. Here, as he understands from Virgil, those were punished who had passed their time (for living it could not be 
called) in a state of apathy and indifference both to good and eviL Then pursuing their way, they arrive at the river 
Acheron ; and there find the old ferryman Charon, who takes the spirits over to the opposite shore ; which as soon as Dante 
Teaches, be is seized with terror, and falls into a trance ....•• .13 

The poet, being roused by a clap of thunder, and following his guide onwards, descends into I.imbo, which is the first circle of 
Hell, where he finds the souls of those who, although they have lived virtuously, and have not to suffer for great sins, 
nevertheless, through lack of baptism, merit not the bliss of Paradise. Hence he is led on by Virgil to descend into 
the second circle , .^.<— — r^ •....•••..17 

Coming into the second circle of Hell, Dante at the entrance beholds Minos the Infernal Judge, by whom he is admonished to 
beware how he enters those regions. Here he witnesses the punishment of carnal sinners, who are tost about ceaselessly in 
the dark air by the most furious winds. Amongst these, he meets with Francesca of Rimini, through pity at whose sad tale 
be falls fainting to the ground 23 


On his recovery, the i>oet finds himself in the third circle, where the gluttonous are punished. Their torment is, to lie in the mire, 
under a continual and heavy storm of hail, snow, and discoloured water ; Cerberus meanwhile barking over them with his 
threefold throat, and rending them piecemeal. One of these, who on earth was named Ciacco, foretells the divisions with 
which Florence is about to be distracted. Dante proposes a question to his guide, who solves it ; and they proceed towards 
the fourth circle ........39 


Id the present canto Dante describes his descent into the fourth circle, at the beginning of which he sees Plutus stationed. Here 
one like doom awaits the prodigal and the avaricious ; which is, to meet in direful conllirt, rolling great weights against each 
other with mutu.!! upbraidings. From hence Virgil takes occasion to show how vain the goo<ls that are committed into tlif 
charge of Fortune ; and this moves our author to inquire what being that Fortune is, of whom he spe.iks : which question 
being resolved, they go down into the fifth circle, where they find the wrathful and gloomy tormented in the Stygian hike. 
Having made » compass round great part of this lake, they come at last to the base of a lofty tower 34 


A signal having been made from the tower, Phlcgyas, the ferryman of the lake, speedily crosses it, and conveys Virgil and Dante 
to the other side. On their passage they meet with Filippo Argcnti, whose fury and torment are described. They then 
axrive at the city ofDis, the entrance whereto is denied, and the portals closed against them by many demons ... 39 





After iome hindnncct, and having seen the hellish fanes and uiher mousiers, the poet, hy the help of an angel, enters the city of 
Dis, wherein he discovers that the heretics are punished in tombs burning with intense fire : and he, together with Virgil, 
puKioowarda. between the sepulchres and the walls of the city 44 


Dante, having obtained permission from his guide, holds discourse with Farlnata degll Ubetti an d ^av!t^n^ ntl^ l^^ vl'^'^ti i who lie 
in their fiery tombs that are yet open, and not to be closed up till after the last judgment. Karinata predicts the poet's exile 
from Florence ; and shuws him that the condemned have kiiowleilge of future things, but are Ignorant of what is at pre&ent 
passing, unless it be revealed by some new comer from earth 49 


Dante arrives at the verge of a rocky precipice which encloses the seventh circle, where he sees the sepulchre of Anastasius the 
heretic ; liehind the lid of which pausing a little, to make himself capable by degrees of enduring the felid smell that steamed 
upward from the abyss, he is instructed by Virgil concerning the manner in which the three following circles are disposed, 
and what description of sinners is punished in each. He then inquires the reason why the carnal, the gluttonous, the 
avaricious and prodigal, the wrathful and gloomy, sulTcr not their punishments within the city of DIs. lie next asks how 
the crime of usury is an offence ag.iinst God ; and at length the two poets go towards the place from whence a passage leads 
down to the seventh circle 55 


Descending by a very ragged way into the seventh circle, where the violent are punished, Dante and his leader find it giiarded by 
the Minot.iur ; whose fury being pacified by Virgil, they step downwards from crag to crag ; till, drawing near the bottom, 
they descry a river of blood, wherein are tormented such as have committed violence against their neighbour. At these, 
when they strive to emerge from the blood, a troop of Centaurs, running along the side of the river, aim their arrows ; and 
three of their band opposing our travellers at the foot of the sleep, Virgil prevails so far, that one consents to carry them both 
across the stream ; and on their passage Dante is informed by him of the course of the river, and of those that are punished 
therein 60 


Still in the seventh circle, Dante enters its second compartment, which contains both those who have done violence on their own 
persons and those who have violently consumed their goods j the first changed into rough and knotted trees whereon 
the harpies build their nests, the latter chased and torn by black female mastiffs. Among the former, Piero delle VIgiie is 
one, who tells him the cause of his having committed suicide, and moreover In what manner the souls are transformed Into 
those trunks. Of the latter crew he recognises Lano, a Siennese, and Gi.icomo, a Paduan ; and lastly, a Florentine, who 
had hung himself from his own roof, speaks to him of the calamities of his countrymen 66 


They arrive at the beginning of the third of those compartments into which this seventh circle is divided. It is a plain of dry and 
hot sand, where three kiiuls of violence are punished ; namely, against God, against Nature, and against Art j and those who 
have thus sinned are tormented by flakes of fire, which are eternally showering down upon them. Among the violent against 
God is found Capaneus, whose blasphemies they hear. Next, turning to the left along the forest of self-slayers, and having 
journeyed a Intie onwards, they meet with a streamlet of blood that Issues from the forest and traverses the sandy place. 
Here Virgil speaks to our poet of a huge ancient statue that stands within Mount Ida in Crete, from a fissure In which statue 
there is a dripping of tears, from which the said streamlet, together with the three other infernal rivers, are formed . 72 


Taking their way upon one of the mounds by which the streamlet, spoken of in the last canto, was embanked, and having gone so 
far that they could no longer have discerned the forest if they had turned round to look for It, they meet a troop o. spirits that 
come along the sand by the side of the pier. These are they who have done violence to Nature ; and amongst them Dante 
distinguishes Brunetto Latini, who had been formerly his master ; with whom, turning a little backward, he holds a discourse 
which occu4>les the remainder of this canto 77 


Jotmeying along the pier, which crosses the sand, they are now to near the end of it as to hear the noise of the stream railing into 
the eighth circle, wlien they meet the spirits of three military men ; who judging Dante, from his dress, to be a countryman of 
theirs, entreat him to stop. He compiles, and speaks with them. The two poets then reach the place where the water 
descends, being the termination of this third comparlraent in the seventh circle ; and here Virgil having thrown down Into the 
hollow a cord, wherewith Dante was girt, they behold at that signal a monstrous and horrible figure come swinuning up to 
them S3 


Tlie monster Geryon it described ; to whom while Viigil is speaking in order that he may carry them both down to the 
next circle, Dante, by permission, goes a little further along the e<lge of the void, to descry the third species of sinners 
contained in this compartment, namely, those who hive done violence to Art ; and then returning to his master, they both 
descend, seated on the back of Gcryon 88 




The poet describes the situation and form of the eighth circle, divided into ten gulfs, which contain a> many differeni descriptions 
of fraudulent sinners ; but in the present canto he treats only of two sorts : the first is of those who, either for their own 
pleasure or for that of another, hive seduced any woman from her duty ; and these are scourged of demons in the first gulf ; 
the other sort is of flatterers, who in the second gulf are coi\demned to remain immersed in fiilh ..... 


They come to the third gulf, wherein are punished those who have been guilty of simony. These are fixed with the head 
downwards in certain apertures, so that no more of them than the legs appears without, and on the soles of their feet are seen 
burning flames. Dante is taken down by his guide into the bottom of the gulf; and there finds Pope Nicholas V., whose 
evil deeds, together with those of otlier ponliRs, are bitterly reprehended. Virgil then carries him up again to the arch, 
whichx^ords them a passage over the following gulf og 


The poet relates the punishment of such as presumed, while living, to predict future events. Tt is to have their faces reversed 
and set the contrary way on their limbs, so that, being deprived of the power to see before them, they are constrained ever to 
walk backwards. Among these Virgil points out to him Amphiaraiis, Tiresias, Aruns, and Manto (from the mention of 
whom he takes occasion to speak of the origin of Mantua), together with several others, who had practised the arts of 
divination and astrology ....•••••...,..,,., 104 


Still in the eighth circle, which hears the name of Mnlebolge, they look down from the bridge that passes over its fifth gulf, upon 
the barterers or public peculators. Tliese are plunged in a lake of boiling pitch, and guarded by demoiis, to whom Virgil, 
leaving Dante apart, presents himself; and licence being obtained to pass onward, both pursue their way . . , .113 


Virgil and Dante proceed, accompanied by the demons, and see otiier sinners of the same description in the same gulf. The 

device of Cianipolo, one of these, to escape from the demons, who had laid hold on him • "S 


The enraged demons pursue Dante, but he is preserved from them by Virgil. On reaching the sixth gulf, he beholds the 
punishment of the hypocrites ; which is, to pace continually round the gulf under the pressure of caps and hoods that are gilt 
on the outside, but leaden within. He is addressed by two of these, Catalano and Loderingo, knights of Saint Mary, 
otherwise called Joyous Friars of Bologna. Caiaphas is seen fixed to a cross on the ground, and lies so stretched along the 
way, tliat all tread on him in passing ..a.............. 120 


Under the escort of his faithful master, Dante, not without difficulty, makes his way out of t'.ie sixth gxilf, and in the seventh sees 
the robbers tormented by venomous and pestilent serpents. The soul of Vanni Fucci. wlio had pill.iged the sacristy of Saint 
James in Pistoia, predicts some calamities that impended over that city, and over the l'°loreatiuc$ ISj 


The sacrilegious Fucci vents his fury in blasphemy, is seized by serpents, and flying is pursued by Cacus in the form of a centaur, 
who is described with a swarm of serpents on his haunch, and a dragon on his shoulders breathing forth fire. Our poet then 
meets with the spirits of three of his countrymen, two of whom undergo a marvellous transformation in his presence . . 131 


Remounting by the steps, down which they had descended to the seventh gulf, they go forward to the arch that stretches over the 
eighth, and from thence behold numberless flames wherein are punished tlie evil counsellors, each flame containing a sinner, 
lave one, in which were Diomede and Ulysses, the latter of whom relates the manner of his death 136 


The poet, treating of the same punishment as in the last canto, relates that he turned towards a flame in which was the Count 
Guido da Monlefeltro, whose inquiries respecting ttie state of Romagna he answers ; and Guido is thereby induced to declare 
who he is, and why condemned to that torment 14I 


They arrive in the ninth gulf, where the sowers of scandal, schismatics, and heretics are seen with their limbs miserably maimed 
or divided in dilferent ways. Among these the poet finds Mahomet, Piero da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and Bertrand 
de Burn <<7 


Dante, at the desire of Virgil, proceeds onward to the bridge that crosses the tenth gulf, from whence he heare the cries of the 
alchemists and forgers, who are tormented therein ; but not being able to discern anything on account of the darkness, they 
descend the rock, that bounds this the last of the compartments in which the eighth circle is divided, and then behold the 
»pinU who are afflicted with divers plagues and diseases. Two of them, namely, Grifolino of Aresao, and Capocchio of 
■Sienna, are introduced speaking ......••■ '53 




Ib the same ^If, other kinds of impostors, >s those who have counterfeited ihe persons of others, or debased the current coin, oi 
deceived by speech under false pretences, are described as suffering various diseases. Simon of Troy, and Adamo of Brescia, 
mutually reproach' each other with their several impostures 15S 


The pnets, following the sound of a loud horn, are led by it to the ninth circle, in which there are four rounds, one enclosed 
within the other, and containing as many sorts of traitors ; but the present canto shows only that the circle is encompassed 
with giants, one of whom, Anixus, takes them both in his arms and places them at the bottom of the circle . . .163 


This canto treats of the first, and, in part, of the second of those rounds, into which the ninth and last, or frozen circle, is divided. 
In the former, called Cai'na, Dante finds Camiccione de' Paizi, who gives him an account of other sinners who are there 
punished ; and in the next, named Anlenora, he hears in like manner from Uocca degli Abbati wlio liis fellow-sulTerers are . 168 


The poet is told by Count Ugolino de' Gherardeschi of the cruel manner in which he and his children were famished in the tower 
at Pisa, by command of the Archbishop Ruggieri. He next discourses of the third round, called Ptolomea, wherein those 
are punished who have betraycti others under the semblance of kindness ; and among these he finds the Friar Alberigo de" 
Manfredi, who tells him of one whose soul was already tormented in that place, though his body appeared still to be alive 
npon the earth, being yielded up to the governance of a fiend 173 


In the fourth and last round ot tlie uinth circle, those who have betrayed their benefactors are wholly covered with ice. And in 
the midst is Lucifer, at whose back Dante and Virgil ascend, till by a secret path they reach llie surface of the other 
heuaiipbere of the earth, and once more obtain sight of the stars 179 


ftA-n CAVTO 

Portrait of Dante Alighieri {Frontispiece) 

I. In the midv,'ay of this our mortal life i. 

II. Scarce the ascent began i. 

III. A lion came, 'gainst me as it appear'd L 

IV. He, soon as he saw that I was weeping l 

V. Onward he moved ' l 

VI. Now WAS the day departing 11. 


VIII. All HOPE abandon in. 

IX. And, lo ! toward us in a bark comes on an old man in. 


XI. Only so far afflicted , . • , . iv. 


XIII. There Minos stands v. 

XIV. The stormy blast of hell with restless fury drives the spirits on . . . v. 
XV. Bard ! willingly I would address those two together coming .... v. 

XVI. Love brought us to one death v. 

X\''II. In its leaves that day we read no more v. 

XVIII. I, through compassion fainting V. 

XIX. Then my guide ^ . vi. 

XX. Thy city, heap'd with envy to the brim vl 

XXI. Curst wolf ! thy fury inward on thyself prey vn. 

XXII. Not all the gold that is beneath the moon vn. 

XXIII. Now seest thou, son ! the souls of those " vn. 

XXIV. Soon as both embark'd vin. 

XXV. My teacher sage aware viii. 

XXVI. I could not hear what terms he offer'd them vin. 

XXVII. Mark how each dire Erynnis ix. 

XXVIII. To the gate he came ix. 

XXIX. He answer thus return'd ix. 

XXX. He, soon as there I stood at the tomb's foot ........ x. 

XXXI. From the profound abyss .... xi. 

.XXXII. And there at point of the disparted ridge lay stretch'd ..... xii. 

XXXIII. One cried from far xn. 

XXXIV We to those be.\sts xii. 


TO F«C1 








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Herb the brute harpies make their nest xiii. ii 

And straight the trunk exclaim'd • xiii. 34 

" Haste now," the foremost cried x'"- '^o 

Unceasing was the play of wretched hands xiv. 37 

Ser Brunetto! and are ye here? XV. 28 

Forthwith that image vile of fraud appear'd xvii. 7 

New terror I conceived at the steep plunge xvii. 117 

Ah! how they made them bound at the first stripe I xvrn. 38 

Why greedily thus bendest more on me ... xviii. 116 

TiiAis IS this, the harlot XVIII. 130 

There stood I like the friar xix. 10 

This said, they grappled him with more than hundred hooks .... xxi. 50 

Be none of you outrageous xxi. . 70 

In pursuit he therefore sped' xxri. 125 

But the other proved a goshawk able to rend well his foe .... xxii. 137 

Scarcely had his feet reach'd to the lowest of the bed beneath . . . xxi 11. 52 

Tuscan, who visitest the college of the mourning hypocrites .... xxiii. 92 

That pierced spirit . xxin. 117 

Amid this dread exuberance of woe xxiv. 89 

The other two look'd on xxv. 59 

The guide, who mark'd how I did gaze attkntive . , xxvl 46 

Now mark how I do rip me xxviil 30 

Call thou to mind Piero of Medicina xxviii. 69 

By thk hair it uore the sever'd member xxviii. 116 

But Virgil roused me xxix. 4 

Then my sight was livelier to explore the depth xxix. 52 

The crust came drawn from underneath in flakes xxix. 79 

That sprite of air is Schicciii xxx. 33 

That is the ancient soul of wretched Mvrrha xxx. 38 

Oh, senseless spirit! xxxl 64 

This proud one would of his strength against almighty Jove make trial . xxxi. 82 

Vet in the abyss xxxl 133 

Look how thou walkest xxxii. 20 

Then seizing on his hinder scalp I cried xxxii. 97 

Not more furiously ON Menai.ippus' temples Tydeus gnawed xxxn. 127 

Then, not to make them sadder . xxxiii. 62 

Hast no help for me, my father ! xxxiii. 67 

Then, fasting got the mastery of grief xxxiii. 73 

"Lo !" HE exclaimed, "lo I.Dis" , . . . . xxxiv. 20 


Thence issuing we again beheld the stars < . . xxxiv. 133 

TO F«C« 


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DANTE,' a name abbreviated, as was the custom in those days, from Durante or Durando, was of a 
very ancient Florentine family. The first of his ancestors,' concerning whom anything certain is 
known, was Cacciaguida,' a Florentine knight, who died fighting in the holy war, under the Emperor 
Conrad III. Cacciaguida had two brothers, Moronto and Eliseo, the former of whom is not recorded to 
have left any posterity ; the latter is the head of the family of the Elisei, or perhaps (for it is doubtful 
which is the case) only transmitted to his descendants a name which he had himself inherited. From 
Cacciaguida himself were sprung the Alighieri, so called from one of his sons, who bore the appellation 
from his mother's family,* as is affirmed by the poet himself, under the person of Cacciaguida, in the 
fifteenth canto of the " Paradise." This name, Alighieri, is derived from the cont-of-arms,° a wing or, on a 
field azure, still borne by the descendants of our poet at Verona, in the days of Leonardo Aretiiio. 

Dante was born at Florence in May, 1265. His mother's name was Bella, but of what family is no 
longer known. His father' he had the misfortune to lose in his childhood; but by the advice of his 
surviving relations, and with the assistance of an able preceptor, Brunctto Latini, he applied himself 
closely to polite literature and other liberal studies, at the same time that he omitted no pursuit necessary 
for the accomplishment of a manly character, and mixed with the youth of his age in all honourable and 
noble exercises. 

In the twenty-fourth year of his age, he was present at the memorable battle of Campaldino,' where 
he served in the foremost troop of cavalry, and was exposed to imminent danger. Leonardo Aretino 
refers to a letter of Dante, in which he described the order of that battle, and mentioned his having been 
engaged in it. The cavalry of the Aretini at the first onset gained so great an advantage over the 
Florentine horse, as to compel them to retreat to their body of infantry. This circumstance in the event 
proved highly fortunate to the Florentines ; for their own cavalry being thus joined to their foot, while 
that of their enemies was led by the pursuit to a considerable distance from theirs, they were by these 
means enabled to defeat with ease their separate forces. In this battle the Uberti, Lamberti, and Abati, 
with all the other ex-citizens of Florence who adhered to the Ghibelline interest, were with the Aretini; 
while those inhabitants of Arezzo who, owing to their attachment to the Guelph party, had been banished 
from their own city, were ranged on the side of the Florentines. In the following year Dante took part in 
another engagement between his countrymen and the citizens of Pisa, from whom they took the castle of 
Caprona," situated not far from that city. 

From what the poet has told us in his treatise entitled the " Vita Nuova," we learn that he was a lover 
long before he was a soldier, and that his passion for the Beatrice whom he has immortalised commenced' 
when she was at the beginning and he near the end of his ninth year. Their first meeting was at a banquet 

• A note by Salvini, on Muratori, " Delia Perfetta Poesiaiia 
llaliana," lib. iii., cap. 8. 

» J^onardo Aretino, "Viladi Dante." 

• " Paradise," xv. He was bom, as most have supposed, in 
1 106, and died aliuut 1 147. Uut Lomliardi computes his birth to 
have happened about logo. 

• Vellutello, " Vila di Dante." There is reason to suppose that 
the was the daughter of Aldigerio, who svas a lawyer of Verona, 
and brother of one of the same name, bishop of that city, and 
author of an epistle addressed to his mother, a religious recluse, 
with the title of " Tractatus Adalgeri F.pisc. ad Rosuvidam reclau- 
sam (or, ad matrem inclusam) de Rebus moralilms." 
See Cancellieri, " Osserva^ioni," &c., Koma.. iSiS, p. 119. 

• Pelli describe* the aims differently : " Memorie per la Vita <U 

Dante, Opere di Dante," ediz. Zatta, 1758, torn, iv., part ii., 
p. 16. The male line ended in Pietro, the sixth in descent from our 
poet, and father of Ginevra, married in 1549 to the Conte Mar- 
canlonio Sarego, of Verona. — Pelli, p. 19. 

'■ His father Alighiero had been before married to Lapa, 
daughter of Chiarissimo Cialufli ; and by her had a son named 
Francesco, who left two daughters and a son, whom he named 
Durante after his brother. Francesco appears to have been mis- 
taken for a son of our poet's. Boccaccio mentions also a sister of 
Dante, who was married to Poggi, and was the mother of Andrea 
Poqgi, Boccaccio's intimate. — Pelli, p. 267. 

' (".. Villani describes this engagement, lib. vii., (-.ap. cxxx. 

» " Hell," xxi. 92. 

• See also the beginning of the "Vita Nuova." 



in the house of Folco Portinari,' her father; and the impression then made on the susceptible and constant 
heart of Dante was not obhterated by her death, which happened after an interval of sixteen years. 

But neither war nor love prevented Dante from gratifying the earnest desire which he had of know- 
ledge and mental improvement. By Benvenuto da Imola, one of the earliest of his commentators, it is 
stated that he studied in his youth at the universities of Bologna and Padua, as well as in that of his native 
city, and devoted himself to the pursuit of natural and moral philosophy. There is reason to believe that 
his eagerness for the acquisition of learning, at some time of his life, led him as far as Paris, and even 
0.xford;* in the former of which universities he is said to have taken the degree of a Bachelor, and 
distinguished himself in the theological disputations; but to have been hindered from commencing Master 
by a failure in his pecuniary resources. Francesco da Buti, another of his commentators in the fourteenth 
century, asserts that he entered tlie order of the Frati Minori, but laid aside tlie habit before he was 

In his own city, domestic troubles, and yet more severe public calamities, awaited him. In 1291 he 
was induced, by the solicitation of his friends, to console himself for the loss of Beatrice by a matrimonial 
connection with Gemma, a lady of the noble family of the Donati, by whom he had a numerous offspring. 
But the violence of her temper proved a source of the bitterest suffering to him ; and in that passage of tlie 
" Inferno," where one of the characters says — 

" Iji fiera moglie pi4 ch' altro, mi nuoce," 

" Me, my wife 
or savage temper, more th,in auglil beside, 
Ilalh to this evil brought" — 

Canto xvi. ; 

his own conjugal unhappiness must have recurred forcibly and painfully to his mind.' It is not improbable 
that political animosity might have had some share in these dissensions ; for his wife was a kinswoman of 
Corso Donati, one of the most formidable as he was one of the most inveterate of his opponents. 

In 1300 he was chosen chief of the Priors, who at that time possessed the supreme authority in the 
state; his colleagues being Palmieri degli Altoviti and Neri di Jacopo degli Alberti. From this exaltation 
our poet dated the cause of all his subsequent misfortunes in life.* 

In order to show the occasion of Dante's exile, it may be necessary to enter more particularly into the 
state of parties at Florence. The city, which had been disturbed by many divisions between the Guelphs 
and Ghibellines, at length remained in the power of the former ; but after some time these were again split 
into two factions. This perverse occurrence originated with the inhabitants of Pistoia, who, from an 
unhappy quarrel between two powerful families in that city, were all separated into parties known by those 
denominations. With the intention of composing their differences, the principals on each side were sum- 

' Folco di Ricovero Poitinari was the founder of the hospital 
of S. M.aria Nuova, in 12S0, and of oilier charitable institu- 
tions, and died in 1289, as appeared from his epitaph. — JWli, 

P- 55- 

* Giovanni Villani, who was his contemporary, and, as Villani 
himself saj-s, his neighbour in Florence, informs us that "he 
went to study at Bologna, and then to Paris, and to many parts 
of the world" (an expression that may well include England), 
"subsequently to his banishment." — Ilisl., lib. ix., cap. cxxxv. 
Indeed, as we shall see, it is uncertain whether he might not 
have been more than once a student at Paris. But the fact 
of his having visited England rests on a pass.nge alludhig to it 
in the Latin poems of Boccaccio, and on tlie aulliority of Giovanni 
da Seiravalle, Bishop of Fcrnio, who, as Tiraboschi observes, 
though he lived at the distance of a century from D.inte, might 
have known those who were contemporaries with him. This 
writer, in an incdiled commentary on the "Coinmedia." written 
while he was attending the Council of Constance, says of our poet ;• 
" Anagorlce dilexit tlieologiam sacram, in quA diu studuit tarn in 
Oxoniis in regno Anglii, quam Parisiis in regno Fraiicia:," &c. 
And again : " Dantes se in juveiitute dedit omnibus artibus libcra- 
libus, studens eas PaduK, Bononii, demum Oxoniis et Parisiis, ubi 
fecit multos actus mirabilcs, intantum quod ab aliquibus dicebatur 
niagnus philosophus, ab aiiquibus mngJius 'I'lKologus, ab aliquibus 
niagnus poeta." — Tirabosc/ii, Sloria Mia Poes. Hat., vol. ii., 
cap. iv., p. 14, as extracted from Tiraboschi's great work by 
Mathias, and edited by that gentleman London, 1803. The bishop 
translated the poem itself into Latin prose, at the instance of 
Cardinal Amnlco di Saluzzo, and of two English bi.sliops, 
Nicholas Bubwilh, of Bath, and Robert Ilalam, of Salisbury, 

who attended the same counciL One copy only of the version 
and commentary is known to be preserved, and that is in the 
Vatican. I would suggest the probability of others existing in this 
country. Stillingfleet, in the " Origines SaciK," twice quotes 
passages from the " Paradiso," "rendered into Latin" (and it is 
latin prose), as that learned bishop says, "by F. S." — Origines 
Sacra, b. ii., chap, ix., sect, xviii., \ 4 j and chap, x., sect, v., 
edit. Camliridge, 1701. This work was begun in February, 
1416, and finished in the same month of the following year. The 
word " anagorice " (into which the Italians altered " anagogice "), 
which occurs in the former of the above extracts, is explained 
by Dante in the "Convito" ("Opere di Dante," torn, i., p. 43, 
ediz. Venez., 1793), and more briefly by Field, "Of the Church," 
b. iii., cap. 26: "The anagogicall" sense is, "when the things 
literally expressed unto us do signifie something in the state ol 
heaven's happiness." It was used by the Greek Fathers to signily 
merely a more recondite sense in a text of Scripture than that which 
the plain words offered. See Origen in Routh's " Reliquix 
Sacrae," vol. iv., p. 323. 

• Yet M. Artaud, in his "Histoire de Dante" (Svo, Paris, 1841, 
p. 85), represents Gemma as a tender, faithful, and alTcctionate 
wife. I cert.iinly do not find any mention of her unhappy temper 
in the early biographers. Regard for her or for her children might 
have restrained them. But in the next century, Landino, though 
commending her good qualities, does not scruple to assert that in 
this respect she was more than a Xanthippe. 

♦ Leonardo Aretino. A late biographer, on the authority of 
Marchionne Slelani, assigns different colleagues to Dante in his 
office of Prior. See Balbo, " Vita di Dante," voL i., p. 219, ediz. 
Torino, 1839. 




moned to the city of Florence ; but this measure, instead of remedying the evil, only contributed to i .. 
its virulence, by communicating it to the citizens of Florence themselves. For the contending parties 
so far from being brought to a reconciliation, that each contrived to gain fresh partisans among the Floren- 
tines, with whom many of them were closely connected by the ties of blood and friendsliip ; and who 
entered into the dispute with such acrimony and eagerness, that the whole city was soon engaged either 
on one part or the other, and even brothers of the same family were divided. It was not long^efore they 
passed, by the usual gradations, from contumely to violence. The factions were now known by the names 
of the Neri and the Bianchi, the former generally siding with the Guelphs or adherents of the Papal power, 
the latter with the Gliibellines or those who supported the authority of the emperor. The Neri assembled 
secretly in the church of the Holy Trinity, and determined on interceding with Pope Boniface VIII. to 
send Charles- of Valois to pacify and reform the city. No sooner did this resolution come to the knowledge 
of the Bianchi, than, struck with apprehension at the consequences of such a measure, they took arms, and 
repaired to the Priors, demanding of them the punishment of their adversaries, for having thus entered into 
private deliberations concerning the state, which they represented to have been done with the view of 
expelling them from the city. Those who had met, being alarmed in their turn, had also recourse to arms, 
and made their complaints to the Priors. Accusing their opponents of having armed themselves without any 
previous public discussion, and affirming that, under various pretexts, they had sought to drive them out of 
their country, they demanded that they might be punished as disturbers of the public tranquillity. The dread 
and danger became general, when, by the advice of Dante, the Priors called in the multitude to their pro- 
tection and assistance, and then proceeded to banish the principals of the two factions, who were these : Corso 
Donati,' Geri Spini, Giachonotto de' Pazzi, Rosso della Tosa, and others of the Neri party, who were exiled 
to the Castello della Pieve, in Perugia ; and of the Bianchi party, wlio were banished to Serrazana, Gentile 
and Torrigiano de' Cerchi, Guido Cavalcanti," Baschiera della Tosa, Baldinaccio Adimari, Naldo, son of 
Lottino Gherardini. and others. On this occasion Dante was accused of favouring the Bianchi, though he 
appears to have conducted himself with impartiality; and the deliberation held by the Neri for introducing 
Charles of Valois* might, perhaps, have justified him in treating that party with yet greater rigour. The 
suspicion against him was increased, when those whom he was accused of favouring were soon after 
allowed to return from their banishment, while the sentence passed upon the other faction still remained in 
full force. To this Dante replied that when those who had been sent to Serrazana were recalled, he was 
no longer in office; and that tiieir return had been permitted on account of the death of Guido Cavalcanti, 
which was attributed to the unwholesome air of that place. The partiality which had been shown, however, 
afforded a pretext to the Pope* for dispatching Charles of Valois to Florence, by whose influence a great 
reverse was soon produced in the public affairs; the ex-citizens being restored to their place, and the whole 
of the Bianchi party driven into exile. At this juncture Dante was not in Florence, but at Rome, whither he 
had a short time before been sent ambassador to the Pope, with the offer of a voluntary return to peace and 
amity among the citizens. His enemies had now an opportunity of revenge, and, during his absence on this 
pacific mission, proceeded to pass an iniquitous decree of banishment against him and Palmieri Altoviti ; 
and at the same time confiscated his possessions, which, indeed, had been previously given up to 

On hearing the tidings of his ruin, Dante instantly quitted Rome, and passed with all possible expedi- 
tion to Sienna. Here, being more fully apprised of the extent of the calamity, for which he could see no 
remedy, he came to tiie desperate resolution of joining himself to the other exiles. His first meeting with 
ttieni was at a consultation which they had at Gorgonza, a small castle subject to the jurisdiction of Arezzo, 
in whicli city it was finally, after a long deliberation, resolved that they should take up their .station.' 

' Of thii remarkabie man, see more in the "Purgatory," 
xxiv. 8l. 
» .See Note to "Hell," x. 59. 
' See " Purgatory," xx. 69. 

* Bonirace VIII. had before sent the Cardinal Matteo d'Acqua- 
sparta to Florence, with the view of supporting his own adherents 
in that city. The cardinal is supposed to be alluded to in the 
" Paradise," xii. 115. 

• On the 27th of January, 1302, he was mulcted 8,000 lire, and 
condemned to two years' banishment ; and in case the fine was not 
paid, his goods were to be confiscated. On the l6th of March, the 
same year, he was sentenced to a punishment due only to the most 
desperate of malefactors. The decree, that Dante and his associates 
in exile should be burned, if they fell into tlie hands of their enemies, 
was discovered in 1 772, by llie Conte Lodovico Savioli. See Tiia- 
boschi, where the document is given at length. 

' At Areao it was his fortune, in 1302, to meet with Busone da 

Gubbia, who two years before had been expelled from his country 
as a Ghibelline, in about the twentieth year of his age. Busone, 
himself a cultivator of the Italian poetry, here contracted a friend- 
ship with Dante, which was afterwards cemented by the reception 
afijrded him under Busone's roof during a part of his exile. He 
was of the ancient and noble family of the Rnf^t-lli of Gubbio ; and 
to his banishment owed the honourable oflices which he held of 
governor of Arezzo in 1316 and 1317 ; of governor of Viterbo in the 
latter of these years ; then of captain of Pisa ; of deputy to the 
Emperor in 1327 ; and finally of Rom.-in senator in 1337. He died 
probably about 1350. The historian of Italian lircrattire speaks 
slightly of his poetical productions, consisting chiefly of comments 
on the "Divina Commedia," which were written in lerza rima. 
They have been published by Sig. Francesco Maria Rafaelli, who 
has collected all the information that could be obtained respecting 
them.—Dilidd Eruditor, v. xvii. He wrote also a romance, en- 
titled " L' Avventuroso Ciciliano, "which has never been printed.— 



Hither they accordingly repaired in a numerous body, made the Count Alessandro da Romena their leader, 
and appointed a council of twelve, of which number Dante was one. In the year 1304, iiaving been joined 
by a very strong force, which was not only furnisiied them by Arezzo, but sent from Bologna and Pistoia, 
they made a sudden attack on the city of Florence, gained possession of one of the gates, and conquered 
part of the territory, but were finally compelled to retreat without retaining any of the advantages they had 

Disappointed in this attempt to reinstate himself in his country, Dante quitted Arezzo; and his 
course is,' for the most part, afterwards to be traced only by notices casually dropped in his own writings, 
or discovered in documents, wliich either chance or the zeal of antiquaries may have brought to light 
From an instrument' in tJjc possession of the Marchesi Papafavi, of Padua, it has been ascertained that, in 
1306, he was at that city and with that family. Similar proof exists of his having been present in the 
following year at a congress of the Ghibellines and the Bianciii, held in the sacristy of the church belonging 
to the abbey of S. Gaudenzio in Mugello ; and from a passage in the " Purgatory " * we collect, that before 
the expiration of 1307 he had found a refuge in Lunigiana, with the Marchese Morello or Marcello Malas- 
pina, who, though formerly a supporter ' of the opposite party, was now magnanimous enough to welcome 
a noble enemy in his misfortune. 

The time at which he sought an asylum at Verona, under the hospitable roof of the Signori della Scala, 
is less distinctly marked. It would seem as if those verses in the "Paradise," where the shade of his ancestor 
declares to him, 

" Lo primo tuo rifiigio e'l primo ostello 

Sara la cortcsia del gran Lombarilo, " 
" First ' refuge thou must find, first place of rest, 

In the great Lombard's courtesy," 

should not be interpreted too strictly ; but whether he experienced that courtesy at a very early period of 
his banishment, or, as others have imagined, not till 1308, when he had quitted the Marchese Morello, it is 
believed that he left Verona in disgust at the flippant levity of that court, or at some slight which he con- 
ceived to have been shown him by his munificent patron, Can Grande, on v;hose liberality he has passed so 
high an encomium.' Supposing the latter to have been the cause of his departure, it must necessarily be 
placed at a date posterior to 130S ; for Can Grande, though associated with his amiable brother Aiboino^ 
in the government of Verona, was then only seventeen years of age, and therefore incapable of giving the 
alleged oftence to his guest 

The mortifications, which he underwent during these wanderings, will be best described in his own 
language. In his "Convito" he speaks of his banishment, and the poverty and distress which attended it 
in very affecting terms. " Alas !"' said he ; " had it pleased the Dispenser of the Universe, that the occasion 
of this excuse had never existed ; that neither others had committed wrong against me, nor I suffered 
unjustly; suffered, I say, the punishment of exile and poverty; since it was the pleasure of the citizens of 
that fairest and most renowned daughter of Rome, Florence, to cast me forth out of her sweet bosom, in 

Tirahrsfhi, Storia della Pats, ftal., v. ii., p. 56. In Allacci's Col- 
lection, Ediz. Na^xili, 1661, p. 11 2, is a sonnet by Busone, on the 
death of a lady and of Danie, which concludes — 

" Ma i mi conforto ch' io credo che Deo 
Dante abbia posto in glorioso scanno." 

At the end of the " Divina Coramedia," in No. 3,581 of the 
Ilarleian MSS. in the British Museum, are four poems. The fiist, 
beginning — 

" O voi che siete nel verace lume," 

is attributed, 
begins — 

as usual, to Jacopo Dante. The second, which 

" Acio che sia piu frutlo e piii diletto 
A qtiei die si dilettan di sapere 
Deir alia comedia vero intellctto," 

•nd proceeds vrith a brief explanation of the principal parts of the 
poem, is here attributed to Mcsser Busone d'Agobbio. It is also 
inserted in Nos. 3,459 and 3,460 of Ihe same M.SS. The third is a 
sonnet by Cino da Pistoia lo Busone ; and the fourth, Husone's 
answer. Since this Note was wriuen, Busorie's romance, above 
mentioned, has been edited at Florence in the year 1832, by the 
late Dr. Nolt 

' A late writer has attempted a recital of his wanderings. For 
this purpose he as>.i;,'n5 certain arbitrary dates to the completion of 
the several parts of the " Divina Conime<lia ; " and selecting from 
each what be supposes to be reminiscences nS particular places 

visited by Dante, together with allusions lo events then passing, 
contrives, by llie help of some questionable documents, to weave 
out of the whole a continued narrative, which, though it may pass 
for current with the unwaiy reader, will not satisfy a more diligent 
inquirer after the truth. See Troya's " Veltro Allegorico di Dante," 
Florence, 1826. 

' "Millesimo trecentesimo sexto, die vigesimo septimo mensis 
Augtisti. Pa<lue in contrata Sancti Martini in domo Domine Amate 
Domini Papafave, proeseiitibus Dantino quondam Alligerii de Flo- 
rentia et nuuc stat Padue in contrata Sancti taurentii,'' &c — 
Pdli, p. 83. 

' Pelli, p. 85, where the document is given. 

* Canto viii. 133. 

• " Hell," xxiv. 144. Morello's wife Alagia is honourably 
mentioned in the " Purgatory," xix. 140. 

• Canto xvii. 68. 

' •' Hell," i. 98, and " Paradise," xvii. 75. A I^tin epistle 
dedicatory of the " Paradise " to Can Grande is attributed to 
Dante. Without better proof than has been yet adduced, I cannot 
conclude it to be genuine. See the question discussed by Fralicelli, 
in the " Opere Miaori di Dante," torn, iii., part ii., l2mo, Firenze, 

' Alboino is spoken of in the "Convito," p. 179, in such a 
manner that it is not easy to say whether a compliment or a re- 
flection is intended ; but I am inclined to think the latter. 

* " Ahi piacciuto fosse al Dispensatore dell' Uuiveiso," &c., 
p. u. 



which I had my birth and nourishment even to the ripeness of my age ; and in which, with her good will, I 
desire, with all my heart, to rest this wearied spirit of mine, and to terminate the time allotted to me on 
earth. Wandering over almost every part to which this our language extends, I have gone about like a 
mendicant ; showing, against my will, the wound with which fortune has smitten me, and which is often 
imputed to his ill-deserving on whom it is inflicted. I have, indeed, been a vessel without sail and without- 
steerage, carried about to divers ports, and roads, and shores, by the dry wind that springs out of sad 
poverty ; and have appeared before the eyes of many, who, perhaps, from some report that had reached 
them, had imagined me of a different form ; in whose sight not only my person was disparaged, but every 
action of mine became of less vaUie, as well already performed as those which yet remained for me to 
attempt." It is no wonder that, with feelings like these, he was now willing to obtain, by humiliation and 
entreaty, vwliat he had before been unable to effect by force. 

He addressed several supplicatory epistles, not only to individuals who composed the government, but 
to the people at large ; particularly one letter, of considerable length, which Leonardo Aretino relates to 
have begun with this expostulation : " Popule mi, quid feci tibi } " 

While he anxiously waited the result of these endeavours to obtain his pardon, a different complexion 
was given to the face of public affairs by the exaltation of Henry of Luxcmburgh' to the imperial throne; 
and it was generally expected that the most important political changes would follow, on the arrival of the 
new sovereign in Italy. Another prospect, more suitable to the temper of Dante, now disclosed itself to 
his hopes; he once more assumed a lofty tone of defiance; and, as it should seem, without much regard 
either to consistency or prudence, broke out into bitter invectives against the rulers of Florence, threatening 
them with merited vengeance from the power of the emperor, which he declared tliat they had no adequate 
means of opposing. He now decidedly relinquished the party of the Guelphs, which had been espoused by 
his ancestors, and under whose banners he had served in the earlier part of his life on the plains of Campal- 
dino, and attached himself to the cause of their opponents, the Ghibellines. Reverence for his country, says 
one of his biographers,' prevailed on him to absent himself from the hostile army, when Henry of Luxcm- 
burgh encamped before the gates of Florence ; but it is difficult to give him credit for being now much 
influenced by a principle which had not formerly been sufficient to restrain him from similar violence. It 
is probable that he was actuated by some desire, however weak, of preserving appearances; for of his 
personal courage no question can be made. Dante was fated to disappointment. The emperor's campaign 
ended in nothing ; the emperor himself died the following summer (in 1313), at Buonconvento ; and, with 
him, all hopes of regaining his native, city expired in the breast of the unhappy exile. Several of his 
biographers' affirm that he now made a second journey to Paris, where Boccaccio adds that he held a public 
disputation * on various questions of theology. To what other places ' he might have roamed during his 
banishment, is very uncertain. We are told that he was in Casentino, with the Conte Guido Salvatico," at 
one time ; and, at another, in the mountains near Urbino, with the Signori della Faggiola. At the monastery 
of Santa Croce di Fonte Avellana, a wild and solitary retreat in the territory of Gubbio, was shown a 
chamber, in which, as a Latin inscription ' declared, it was believed that he had composed no small portion 
of his divine work. A tower,' belonging to the Conti Falcucci, in Gubbio, claims for Itself a similar honour. 
In the castle of Colmollaro, near the river Saonda, and about six miles from the same city, he was cour- 
teously entertained by Busone da Gubbio," whom he had formerly met at Arezzo. There are some traces 

' "Paradise," xvii. 80, and xxx. 141. 

• Leonardo Aretino. 

' Benvenuto da Imola, Filippo Villani, and Boccaccio. 

• Anotlier public philosopliical dispuLition at Verona, in 1320, 
publislied at Venice in 1508, seems to be regarded by Tiraboschi 
with some suspicion of its authenticity. It is entitled, " Quoestio 
florulenta et penitilis de duobus dementis aquae et tense tractans, 
nuper reperta, quae olim Mantuie auspicata, Veronae vero disputata 
et decisa ac manu proprii scripta a Dante Florenlino Poeti claris- 
simo, quK diligentsr et accurate correcta (uit per Rev. Magistrum 
Joan. Benediclum Moncettum de Castilioiie Aretino Regentem Pa- 
tavinum Ordinis Eremilarum Divi Augustini, sacraeque Theologis 
Doctorem excellentissimum." 

• Vellutello says tliat he was also in Germany. "Vita del 

• He was grandson to the valiant Guidoguerra. — PtUi, p. 95. 
See "Hell," xvi. 38. 

' " Hocce cubiculum hospes 

In quo Dantes Aligherius habitasse 

In coque non minimum praeclari ac 

I'cnc divini operis partem com- 

poMiissc dicitur undiquc fatiscens 

Ac tanttun non solo aequatum 

Pliilippus Rodulpliius 

Laurentii Nicolai Cardinalis 

Amplissimi Kratris Filius sunimiis 

Collegii Prases pro eximta erga 

Civem suum pietalc refici hancque 

Illius cfiigiem ad tanti viri memo- 

riam revocandam Antonio Petreio 

Canon. Floren. procurante 

CoUocari mandavit 
Kal. Mali. M.D.L.VII." /V///, p. 98. 

' In this is inscribed, 

" Hie mansit Dantes 
Aleghierius Poeta 
Et carmina scripsit." 

' The following sonnet, said to be addressed to him by Dante, 
was published in the " Delilix- Kruditorura," and is inserted in the 
Zatta edition of our poet's woiks, torn, iv., part ii., p. 264, in which 
alone I have seen it : — 

" Tu, die staiiipi lo colle ombroso e fresco, 
Ch' 6 CO lo P'iume, che non b torrente, 
Linci molle lo chiama quell.i gente 
In nome Italiano e non Tedcsco : 

PrUi, p. 97. 



of his having made a temporary abode at Udine. and particularly of his having been in the Friull with 
Pagano delia Torre, the patriarch of Aquileia. at the castle of Tolmino, where he is also said to have 
employed himself on the " Divina Commedia." and where a rock was pointed out that was called the "seat 
of Dante."' What is known with greater certainty is, that he at last found a refuge at Ravenna, with Guido 
Novello da Polenta ; * a splendid protector of learning ; himself a poet ; and the kinsman of that unfortunate 
Francesca,* whose storj' has been told by Dante with such unrivalled pathos. 

It would appear from one of his Epistles that about the year 1316 he had the option given him of 
returning to Florence, on the ignominious terms of paying a fine, and of making a public avowal of his 
offence. It may, perhaps, be in reference to this offer, which, for the same reason that Socrates refused to 
save his life on similar couditious, he indignantly rejected, that he promises himself he shall one day return 
•* in other guise," 

" And standing up 
At his baptismal font, shall claim the wreath 
Due to the poet's temples." — J'ui-/;atory, xxv. 

Such, indeed, was the glory which his compositions in his native tongue had now gained him, that he 
declares, in tlie treatise, " De Vulgari Eloqucntia," * it had in some measure reconciled him even to his 

In the service of his last patron, in whom he seems to have met with a more congenial mind than in 
any of the former, his talents were gratefully exerted, and his affections interested but too deeply-; for, 
having been sent by Guido on an embassy to the Venetians, and not being able even to obtain an audience, 
on account of the rancorous animosity with which they regarded that prince, Dante returned to Ravenna so 
overwhelmed with disappointment and grief, that he was seized by an illness which terminated fatally, 
either in J uly or September, 1321.' Guido testified his sorrow and respect by the sumptuousness of his 
obsequies, and by his intention to erect a monument, which he did net live to complete. His countrymen 
showed, too late, that they knew the value of what they had lost. At the beginning of the next century, 
their posterity marked their regret by entreating tliat the mortal remains of their illustrious citizen might 
be restored to them, and deposited among the tombs of their fathers. But the people of Ravenna were 
unwilling to part with the sad and honourable memorial of their own hospitality. No better success 
attended the subsequent negotiations of the Florentines for the same purpose, though renewed under the 
auspices of Leo X., and conducted through the powerful mediation of Michael Angelo.* 

The sepulchre, designed and commenced by Guido da Polenta, was, in 1483, erected by Bernardo 
Bembo, the father of the cardinal ; and, by him, decorated, besides other ornaments, with an effigy of the 
poet in bas-relief, tJie sculpture of Pietro Lombardo, and with the following epitaph : 

Ponti, »er« e mattin, contento al desco, 
Pcrchi del car figliuol vedl picsciite 
lil frutto che sperassi, e si repciite 
S' avaccia nello stil Greco e Francesca. 

Pcrcl)6 cima d'ingegno non s'astnlla 
In quella Italia di dolor ostello, 
Di cui si spcri gia cotanto fiutto ; 

Gavazzi pur el primo Raflaello, 

Che tra dotti vedrallo esser vednto. 
Come sopr' acqua si sostieu la galla." 

•Thon, who -vhere Line! sends his stream to drench 
The valley, walk'st thai fresh and shady hill 
(Soft Linci well they call the gentle rill. 
Nor smooth Italian name to German wrench) 
Evening and morning, seat thee on thy bencit. 
Content ; beholding fruit of knowledge fill 
So early tliy son's branches, that grow still 
Knrich'd with dews of Grecian lore and French. 
Though genius, with like hopeful fruitage hung. 
Spread not aloft in recreant Italy, 
Where grief her home, and worth has made his grave ; 
Yet may the elder Raflaello see, 

With joy, his offspring seen the leam'd among. 
Like buoyant thing that floats above the wave." 
' The considerations which induced the Cavalier Vannetti to 
conclude that a part of the " Commedia," and the canzone 
hcgi cuing 

" Canzon, da cbe convicn pur, ch' io mi dcglia" 

were written in the valley I.agarina, in the territory of Trento, ^o 
not appear entitled to much notice. Vannelti's letter is in the 
Zaita edition of Dante, torn, iv., part II., p. 143. There may be 
better ground for concluding that he was, some time during his exile, 
with Lanteri Paratico, a man of ancient and noble family, at the 
castle of Paratico, near Urescia, and that he there employed himself 
on Ills poems. The proof of this rests upon a communication made 
by the Abate Rodella to Dionisi, of an extract from a clironicle 
remaining at Brescia. See Cancellleri, " Osscrvazloni intomo alia 
questione sopra loriginalltii della Divina Commedia," &c., Koma., 
1814, p. 125. 
« See " Hell," xxvii. 38. 

* " Hell," V. 1 13, and Note. Former biographers of Dante have 
represented Guido, his last patron, as tlie father of Franceses. 
Troya asserts that he was her nephew. See his " Vellro Allegorico 
di Uante," ed. Florence, 1826, p. 176. It is to be regretted that, 
in this instance, as in others, he gives no authority for his assertion. 
He is, however, followed by Balbo, " Viu di Uante," Torino, 
1839, v. il., p. 315; and Artaud, " Histoire de Dante," Paris, 
1841, p. 470. 

* " Quantum vero suos familiares gloriosos efficiat, nos ipsi novl- 
mus, qui hujus dulcedine gloriae nostrum exilium posterg.-imus." — 
Lib. i., cap. 17. 

' Filippo Vlllani, Domenico di Bandino d'Arezzo, and G. Villani, 
"Hist." lib. ix., cap. cxxxv. The last writer, whose authority Is 
perhaps the best on this point, in the Glunti edition of 1559, 
mentions July as the month in which he died ; but there is a MS. of 
Vlllani's history, it is said, in the library of St. Mark, at Vericc. in 
which his death is placed in September. 

* I'clll, p. 104. 


■ • • 

'• Exigiil tumuli, Danthes, hie sorte jaceb»», 
Squalenti nuUi eognitc penfe situ. 
At nunc marmoreo subnixns conderis arcn, 

Omnibus et cultu splendidiorc nites. 
Nimirum Bembus Musis incensus Etruscis 
Hoc tibi, quem imprimis hae coluere, dedit." 

A yet more magnificent memorial was raised so lately as the year 1780, by the Cardinal Gonzaga.' 

His children consisted of one daughter and five sons, two of whom, Pietro' and Jacopo,' inherited some 
portion of their father's abilities, which they employed chiefly in the pious task of illustrating his "Divina 
Commedia." The former of these possessed acquirements of a more profitable kind, and obtained con- 
siderable wealth at Verona, where he was settled, by the exercise of the legal profession. He was 
honoured v/kh the friendship of Petrarch, by whom some verses were addressed to him * at Trevigi, in 

His daughter Beatrice ' (whom he is said to have named after the daughter of Folco Portinari) became 
a nun in the convent of S. Stefano dell' Uliva, at Ravenna ; and, among the entries of expenditure by the 
Florentine Republic, appears a present of ten golden florins sent to her in 1350, by the hands of Boccaccio, 
from the state. The imagination can picture to itself few objects more interesting than the daughter of 
Dante, dedicated to the service of religion in the city where her father's ashes were deposited, and 
receiving from his countrymen this tardy tribute of their reverence for his divine gfenius, and lier own 

It is but justice to the wife of Dante not to omit what Boccaccio ' relates of her; that after the banish- 
ment of her husband, she secured some share of his property from the popular fury, under the name of her 
dowry ; that out of this she contrived to support their little family with exemplary discretion ; and that she 
even removed from them the pressure of poverty, by such industrious efforts as in her former affluence she 
had never been called on to exert. Who does not regret, that with qualities so estimable, she wanted the 
sweetness of temper necessary for riveting the affections of lier husband .■' 

Dante was a man of middle stature and grave deportment; of a visage rather long ; large eyes; an 
aquiline nose; dark complexion; large and prominent cheek-bones; black curling hair and beard; the 
under lip projecting beyond the upper. He mentions, in the " Convito," that his sight had been transiently 
impaired by intense application to books.' In his dress, he studied as much plainness as was suitable with 
his rank and station in life ; and observed a strict temperance in his diet. He was at times extremely 
absent and abstracted ; and appears to have indulged too much a disposition to sarcasm. At the table of 
Can Grande, when the company was amused by the conversation and tricks of a buffoon, he was asked by 
his patron why Can Grande himself, and the guests who were present, failed of receiving as much pleasure 
from the exertion of his talents as this man had been able to give them. " Because- all creatures delight in 
theu' own resemblance," was the reply of Dante.' In other respects, his manners are said to have been 

' Tiraboschi. In the " Literary Journal," February i6, 1804, p. 192, 
is the following article : — " Asubscriplion has been opened at Florence 
for erecting a mouuraeiit in the cathedral there, to the memory of 
the great poet Dante. A drawing of this monument has been sub- 
mitted to the Florentine Academy of the Fine Aits, and has met 
with universal approbation." A monument, executed by .Stefano 
Ricci of Arezzo, has since been erected to him in tlie Santa Croce 
at Florence, which I had the gratification of seeing in the year 


• Pietro was also a poet. His commentary on the " Divina Corn- 
media," which is in Latin, has never been published. Lionardo, 
the grandson of Pietro, came to Florence, with other young men of 
Verona, in the time of Leonardo Aretino, who tells us that he 
showed him there the house of Dante and of his ancestors. — K/Vrt ifi 
Dante, To Pietro, the son of Lionardo, Mario Filelfo addressed 
bii "Life" of our poet. The son of this Pietro, Dante IIL, was 
a man of letters, and an elegant poet. Some of his works are 
preserved in collections : he is commended by Valerianus, " De 
Infelicitate Lilerat," lib. i., and is, no doubt, the same whom 
l.andino s|>eaks of as living in his time at Ravenna, and calls 
" uomo molto literato ed eloquente e degno di tal sangue, e quale 
meritamente si dovrebbe rivocar nella sua antica patria e nostra re- 
publica." In 149S. the Florentines took Landino's advice, and in- 
vited him back to the city, offering to restore all they could of the 
properly that had belonged to his ancestors ; but he would not quit 
Verona, where he was established in much opulence. — Vellulello, 
Vita. He aflenvards experienced a sad reverse of fortune. He had 
three sons, one of whom, Francesco, made a translation of Vitruvius, 
wiiich is supposed to have perished. A better fate has befallen 

an elegant dialogue written by him, which was published, not many 
years ago, in the "Anecdota Lileraria," edit. Roma, (no date), 
vol. ii., p. 207. It is entitled " Francisci Aligerii Dantis HI. 
Filii Dialogus Alter de Antiqultatibus Valeniinis ex Cod. MS. 
Meinbranaceo. .Ssec. xvi. nunc primuin in lucem editus." Pietro, 
anoilier son of D.mte HI., who was also a scholar, and held the 
office of I'roveilitore of Verona in 1539, was the father of Ginevra, 
mentioned before, in Note 5, page vii. See Pclli, p. 28, &c. 
Velkitello, in his " Life " of the ]5oet, acknowledges his obligations 
to this last Pietro for the information he had given him. 

" Jacopo is mentioned by Hembo among the Rimatori, lib. ii., 
" Delia Volg. Ling.," at the beginning ; and some of his verses are 
preserved in MS. in the Vatican, and at Florence. He was living 
in 1342, and had children, of whom little is known. The names of 
our poet's other sons were GabricUo, Aligero, and Lliseo. The 
last two died in their childhood. Of Gabriello nothing certain is 

* "Carm.," lib. iii. , ep. vii. 
» Pelli, p. 33. 

• "Vitadi Dante," p. 57, ed. Firenze, 1576. 

' " Per affalicare lo viso molto a studio di leggere, intanto 
debilitai gli spiriti visivi, che le stelle mi pareano tutte d'alcuno 
albore ombrate : e per lunga riposanza in luoghi scuri, e freddi, e 
con affreddare lo corpo dell' occhio con acqua pura, rivinsi la virtii 
disgregata, che tornai nel prima buono stato della vista." — Coifjito, 
p. 108. 

' There is here a point of resemblance (nor is it the only one) in 
the cliaracter of Milton. " I had rather," says the author of "Para- 
dise Lost," " since the life of man is likened to a scene, that all my 



dignified and polite. He was particularly careful not to make any approaches to flattery, a vice which he 
justly held in the utmost abhorrence. He spoke seldom, and in a slow voice; but what he said derived 
authority from the subtilencss of his observations, somewhat like his own poetical heroes, who 

" Parlavan ndo con voci soavi." 
" Spake 
Seldom, but all their words were tuneful sweet" — Hell, It. 

He was connected in habits of intimacy and friendship with the most ingenious men of his time; with 
Guido Cavalcanti,' with Bunonaggiunta da Lucca,' with Forese Donati,*with Cino da Pistoia,* with Giotto,* 
the celebrated painter, by whose hand his likeness* was preserved ; with Oderigi da Gubbio,^ the 
illuminator, and with an eminent musician* — 

" His Casella, whom he wooed to sing. 
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory." — Milloris Sonnets. 

Besides these, his acquaintance e-xtended to some others, whose names illustrate the first dawn of Italian 
literature : Lapo' degli Uberti, Dante da Majano,'* Cecco Angiolieri," Dino Frescobaldi," Giovanni di 
Virgilio," Giovanni Quirino,'* and Francesco Stabili,'* who is better known by the appellation of Cecco 

entrances and exits might mix with such persons only \vhose worth 
erects them and tlieir actions to a grave and tragic deportment, and 
not to have to do with clowns and vices." — Colaslerion, Prose 
Iforks, vol. i., p. 339, edit. London, 1753. 

' See" Hell," X., and Notes. 

' See " Purgatory," xxiv. Vet Tiraboschi observes, that though 
it is not improbable that Buonaggiunta was the contemporary and 
friend of Dante, it cannot be considered as certain. " Storia della 
Poes. Ital.," torn, i., p. 109, Mr. Malhias's edition. 

• See " Purgatory," xxiii. 44. 

• Guiltorino de' Sigibuldi, commonly called Cino da Pistoia (be- 
lides the passage that will be cited in a following Note from the 
" De Vulgari Eloquentia"), is again spoken of in the same treatise, 
lib. i., c. xvii., as a great master of the vem.icular diction in his 
canxoni, and classed with our poet himself, who is termed " Amicus 
ejus;" and likewise in lib. ii., c. ii., where he is said to have written 
of "Love." Ilii verses are cited too in other ch.ipters. lie ad- 
dressed and received sonnets from Dante; and wrote a sonnet, or 
canzone, on Dante's death, which is preserved in the Library of 
St. Mark, at Vemcc — Tiraboschi, della Poes. Hal., v. i., p. 116, 
and V. ii., p. 60. The same "honour was done to the memory of 
Cino by Petrarch, son. 71, part i. "Celebrated both as a lawyer 
and a poet, he is belter knon-n by the writings which he has left in 
the latter of these characters," insomuch that Tiraboschi has ob- 
served, tliat amongst those who preceded Petrarch, there is, perhaps, 
none wlio can be compared to him in elegance and sweetness. 
"There are ma.ny editions of his poems, the most copious being that 
published at Venice in 15S9, by P. Fauslino Tasso ; in which, how- 
ever, the Padre degli Agoslini, not without reason, suspects that the 
second book is by later liands." — Tiraboschi, ibid. There been 
an edition by Seb. Ciampi, at Pisa, in 1813, &c. ; but see the re- 
marks on it in Gamba's "Test! di Lingua Ital.," 294. lie was 
interred at Pistoia with this epitaph : " Cino eximio Juris inter- 
pret! Bartolique pncccptori dignissimo popiilus Pisloriensis Civi 
suo B. M. fecit. Obiit anno 1336." — Giiidi Panziroli de Claris 
Ltipiin Iiilerprclibiis, lib. ii., cap. xxix.. Lips. 410, 1721. A 
Latin letter, supposed to be addressed by Dante to Cino, was pub- 
lished for the first time from a MS. in tlie Laurentian Library, by 
M. Witte. 

• See " Purgatory," xi. 

• Mr. E.i»;lake, in a Note to " Kugler's Hand-Book of Painting, 
translated by a Lady," Lond., 1842, p. 50, describes the recovery 
and restoration, in July, 1840, of Dante's ponrait by Giotto, in the 
diapcl of the Podestl at Florence, where it had been covered with 
whitewash or plaster. But it could scarcely have been concealed so 
soon as our distinguished artist supposes, since Landino speaks of it 
as remaining in his lime, and Vasari says it was still to be seen when 
he wrote. 

' See " Purgatory," xi. 
' Ibid., canto ii. 

• Uipo is said to have been the son of Farinala degli Uberti (see 
"Hell," X. 32, and Tiraboschi, "Della Poes. Ital," v. i., p. m6), 
and the father of Fazio degli Uberti, author of the "Dittamondo," 
a poem, which is thought, in the energy of its style, to make some 

approaches to the " Divina Commedia" (ibid., v. U., p. 63), though 
• Monti passes on it a much less favourable sentence (see his " Pro- 
posta," v. iii., part ii., p. 210, 8vo, 1824). He is probably the Lapo 
mentioned in the sonnet to Guido Cavalcanti, beginning, 

" Guido vorrei che tu e Lapo ed io," 
which Mr. Hayley has so happily translated (see " Hell," x. 62) ; 
and also in a passage that occui-s in tlie " Dc Vulgari Eloquentia," 
V. i., p. 116: "Quanquam fere omnes Tusci in suo turpiloquio sint 
obtusi, nonnullos Vulgaris cxccllcntiam cognovisse senlimus, scilicet 
Guidoncm Lapum, et unum alium, Florentines, et Cinum Pisto- 
rienscm, quern nunc indigne postponimus, non indigne coacti." 
" Allliongh almost all the Tuscans are marred by llic baseness of 
their ilLilect, yet 1 perceive that some have known the excellence of 
the vernacular tongue, namely, Guido Lapo" (I suspect Dante here 
means his two friends Cavalcanti and Uberti, though this has 
hitherto been taken for the name of one pcreon), "and one other '' 
(who is supposed to be the author himself), " Florentines ; and last, 
though not of least regard, Cino da Pistoia." 

'" Dante da Majano flourished about 1290. He was a Florentine, 
and composed many poems in pr.aise of a Sicilian lady, who, being 
herself a poetess, was insensible neither to his verees nor his love, so 
that she was called the Nina of Dante. — PelH, p. 60, and Tiraboschi, 
Storia della Poes. Ital., v. i., p. 137. There are several ofhissonnets 
addressed to our poet, who declares, in his answer to one of them, 
that although he knows not the name of its author, he discovers in it 
the traces of a great mind. 

" Of Cecco Angiolieri, Boccaccio relates a pleasant story in the 
" Decameron," Giorn. 9, Nov. 4. He lived towards the end of the 
thirteenth century, and wrote several sonnets to Dante, which are in 
Allacci's collection. In some of them he wears the semblance of a 
friend; but in one the mask drops, and shows that he was well 
disposed to be a rival. See Crescimbeni, "Com. alia Storia di 
Vnlgar Pocsia," v. ii., par. ii., lib. ii., p. 103; Pclli, p. 61. 

•^ Dino, son of l.ambcrtuccio Frescobaldi. Crescimbeni (ibid., 
lib. iii., p. 120) assures us that he not inferior to Cino da Pistoix — 
Pclli, p. 6t. He is said to have been a friend 01 Dante's, in whose 
writings I have not observed any mention of him. Boccaccio, in 
his " Life of Dante," calls Dino " in que' tempi lamosissimo dicitore 
in rima in Firenze." 

" Giovanni di Virgilio addressed two Latin eclogues to Dante, 
which were answered in similar compositions; and is said to have 
been his friend and admirer. See Boccaccio, "Vita di Dante;" and 
Pelli, p. 137. Dante's poetical genius sometimes breaks through tlie 
rudeness of style in his two Latin eclogues. 

" Mutatori- had seen several sonnets, addressed to Giovanni 
Quirino by Dante, m a MS. preserved in the Ambrosian Library. 
" Della Perfetta Poesia ItaL," ediz, Venezia, 1770, torn. L, lib. i., 
a iii., p. 9. 

" For the correction of many errors respecting this writer, see 
Tiraboschi, '"Storia della Lett. Ital.," torn, v., lib. ii., cap. ii., 
§ XV., &c. He was burned in 1317. In his "Acerb.-i," a poem in 
testa rima, he has taken several occasions of venting his spleen 
against his great contemporary. 



D'AscoH ; most of them either honestly declared their sense of his superiority, or betrayed it by their vain 

endeavours to detract from the estimation in which he was held. 

He is said to have attained some excellence in the art of designing; which may easily be believed, 
when we consider that no poet has afforded more lessons to the statuary and the painter,' in the variety of 
objects which he represents, and in the accuracy and spirit with which they are brought before the eye. 
Indeed, on one occasion,' he mentions that he was employed in delineating the figure of an angel, on the 
first anniversary of Beatrice's death. It is not unlikely that the seed of the " Paradiso " was thus cast into 
his mind; and that he was now endeavouring to express by the pencil an idea of celestial beatitude, which 
could only be conveyed in its full perfection through the medium of song. 

As nothing that related to such a man was thought unworthy of notice, one of his biographers,* who 
had seen hi* handwriting, has recorded that it was of a long and delicate character, and remarkable for 
neatness and accuracy. 

Dante wrote in Latin a treatise "De Monarchia," and two books "De Vuigari Eloquio."* In the 
former he defends the imperial rights against the pretensions of the Pope, with arguments that are 
sometimes chimerical, and sometimes sound and conclusive. The latter, which he left unfinished, contains 
not only much information concerning the progress which the vernacular poetry of Italy had then made, 
but some reflections on the art itself, that prove him to have entertained large and philosophical principles 
respecting it. 

His Latin style, however, is generally rude and unclassical. It is fortunate that he did not trust to it, 
as he once intended, for the work by which his name was to be perpetuated. In the use of his own 
language he was, beyond measure, more successful. The prose of his " Vita Nuova," and his " Convito," 
although five centuries have intervened since its composition, is probably, to an Italian eye, still devoid 
neither of freshness nor elegance. In the "Vita Nuova," which he appears to have written about his twenty- 
eighth year, he gives an account of his youthful attachment to Beatrice. It is, according to the taste of 
those times, somewhat mystical : yet there are some particulars in it which have not at all the air of a 
fiction, such as the death of Beatrice's father, Folco Portinari ; her relation to the friend whonj he esteemed 
next after Guido Cavalcanti; his own attempt to conceal his passion, by a pretended attachment to another 
lady; and the anguish he felt at the death of his mistress.' He tells us, too, that at the time of her decease, 
he chanced to be composing a canzone in her praise, and that he was interrupted by that event at the 
conclusion of the first stanza; a circumstance which we can scarcely suppose to have been a mere invention. 

Of the poetry, with which the " Vita Nuova " is plentifully interspersed, the two sonnets that follow 
may be taken as a specimen. Near the beginning he relates a marvellous vision, which appeared to him in 
sleep, .soon after his mistress had for the first time addressed her speech to him; and of this dream lie thus 
asks for an interpretation : — 

" To every heart that feels the gentle flame. 

To whom this present saying conies in sight, 

In that to me tlieir thoughts tliey may incUte, 

All health ! in Love, our lord and master's name. 
Now on its way the second quarter came 

Of those twelve hours, wherein the stars are bright, 

When Love was seen before me, in such might. 

As to remember shakes with awe my frame. 
Suddenly came he, seeming glad, and keeping 

My heart in liand ; and in his arms he had 

My lady in a folded garment sleeping : 
He waked her ; and that heart all burning bade 

Her feed upon, in lowly guise and sad : 

Then from my view he turned ; and parted, weeping." 

' Besides Filippo Brunelleschi, who, as Vasari tells us, " diede 
molta opera alle cose di Dante," and Michael Angelo, whose " Last 
Judgment" is probably (he mightiest effort of modern art, as the loss 
of his sketches on the margin of the " Divina Commedia " may be 
regarded as the severest loss the art has sustained ; besides these, 
Andrea Orgagiia.Gio. Angelico di Fiesole, Luca Signorelli, Spinello 
Aretino, Uiacomo da t'ontormo, and Aurelio Lomi have been re- 
coimted among the many artists who have worked on the same 
original. See Cancellicri, " Osservazioni," &c., p. 75. To these we 
may justly pride ourselves in being able to add the names of Rey- 
nolds, Fuseli, and Flaxman. The frescoes by Cornelius in the Villa 
Massimi at Kome, lately executed, entitle the Germans to a share in 
this distinction. 

' " In quel giomo, nel quale si compieva I'anno, che questa donna 
era fatta delle cittadine di vita etema, io mi sedeva in parte, uella 
quale, ricordandomi di lei, io disegnava uno Angelo sopra certe tavo- 
letter e nientre io il disegnava, volsi gli occliL" — fi/a Nuova, p. 2C8. 

' Leonardo Aretino. A specimen of it was believed to exist when 
Pelli wrote, about sixty years ago, and perhaps still exists in a MS. 
presei-ved in the archives at Gubbio, at the end of which was the 
sonnet to Busone, said to be in the handwriting of Dante. — Pelti, 
p. SI. 

* These two were first published in an Italian translation, supposed 
to be Trisino's, and were not allowed to be genuine, tili the Latin 
original was published at Paris in 1577. — Tirabosehi. A copy, 
written in the fourteenth century, is said to have been lately found 
in the public library at Grenoble. See Fraticelli's " Opere minori 
di Dante," l2mo, Firenze, 1840, v. iii., part ii., p. 16. A collation 
of this MS is very desirable. 

» Beatrice's marriage to Simone de' Bardi, which is collected from 
a clause in her father's will, dated January 15, 1287, would have 
been a fact too unsentimental to be introduced into tlie " Vita 
Nuova," and is not, I bciieve, noticed by any of the early bio- 


To this sonnet Guido Cavalcanti, amongst others, returned an answer in a composition of the same 
form, endeavouring to give a happy turn to the dream, by which the mind of the poet had been so deeply 
impressed. From the intercourse thus begun, when Dante was eighteen years of age, arose that friendship 
which terminated only with the death of Guido. 

The other sonnet is one tliat was written after the death of Beatrice : — 

"Ah, pilgrims I ye that, hnply musing, go. 

On aught save that which on your road ye meet, 

From land sodislant, tell me, I entreat. 

Come ye, as by your mien and looks ye show ? 
Why mourn ye not, as through ihcsc gales of woe 

Ve wend along our city's midmost street, 

Even like those who nothing seem to weet 

What chance hath fall'n, why she is grieving so T 
If ye to listen but a while would stay. 

Well knows tliis heart, which inly sigheth sore. 

That ye would then pass, weeping on your way. 
Oh, hear : her Beatrice is no more ; 

And words there are a man of her might say, 

Would make a stranger's eye that loss deplore." 

In the " Convito,"' or Banquet, which did not follow till some traie after his bani.shment, he explains 
very much at large the sense of three out of fourteen of his canzoni, the remainder of which he had 
intended to open in the same manner. " The viands at his banquet," he tells his readers, quaintly enough, 
"will be set out in fourteen different manners; that is, will consist of fourteen canzoni, the materials of 
which are love and virtue. Without the present bread, they would not be free from some shade of obscurity, 
so as to be prized by many less for their usefulness than for their beauty; but the bread will, in the form of 
the present exposition, be that light which will bring forth all their colours, and display their true meaning 
to the view. And if the present work, which is named a Banquet, and I wish may prove so, be handled 
after a more manly guise than the 'Vita Nuova,' I intend not, therefore, that the former should in any part 
derogate from the latter, but that the one should be a help to the other : seeing that it is fitting in reason 
for this to be fervid and impassioned ; that, temperate and manly. For it becomes us to act and speak 
otherwise at one age than at another; since at one age certain manners are suitable and praiseworthy, 
which at another become disproportionate and blameable." He then apologises for speaking of himself. 
" I fear the disgrace," says he, "of having been subject to so much passion as one, reading these canzoni, 
may conceive me to have been ; a disgrace that is removed by my speaking thus unreservedly of myself, 
which shows not passion, but virtue, to have been the moving cause. I intend, moreover, to set forth their 
true meaning, which some may not perceive, if I declare it not." He ne.xt proceeds to give many reasons 
why his commentary was not written rather in Latin than in Italian ; for which, if no excuse be now 
thought necessary, it must be recollected that the Italian language was then in its infancy, and scarce sup- 
posed to possess dignity enough for the purposes of instruction. " The Latin," he allows, '• would have 
explained his canzoni better to foreigners, as to the Germans, the English, and others ; but then it must 
have expounded their sense, without the power of, at the same time, transferring their beauty ; " and he soon 
after tells us, that many noble persons of both sexes were ignorant of the learned language. The best cause, 
however, which he assigns for this preference, was his natural love of his native tongue, and the desire he 
felt to exalt it above the Proven<,al, which by many was said to be the more beautiful and perfect lan- 
guage ; and against such of his countrymen as maintained so unpatriotic an opinion he inveighs with much 

In his exposition of the first canzone of the three, he tells the reader that "the lady of whom he was 
enamoured after his first love was the most beauteous and honourable daughter of the Emperor of the 
Universe, to whom Pythagoras gave the name of Philosophy : "' and he applies the same title to the object 
of his affections, when he is commenting on the other two. 

The purport of his third canzone, which is less mysterious, and, therefore, perhaps more likely to please 
than the others, is to show that " virtue only is true nobility." Towards the conclusion, after having spoken 
of virtue itself, much as Pindar would have spoken of it, as being " the gift of God only" — 

" Che solo Iddio all' anima la dona," 

he thus describes it as acting throughout the several stages of life : 

" L' anima, cui adorna," &c. 

' Pertlcarl ("Degli Scrlttori del Trecento," lib. ii., c v.), speaking 
of the "Convito," observes that Salviali himself has termed it the 
most , vidcn; and principal of all excellent prose works in Italian. 

On the other hand, B.iibo (" Vita di Dante," v. H., p. 86) pronounces 
it to be certainly the lowest among Dante's writings. In this differ' 
ence of opinion a foreigner may be permitted to jud)'e for himself. 


" The soul, that goodness like to this adorns, 

HoUIeth it not conceal'd ; 

But, from her first espousal to the frame, 

Shows it, till death, reveal'd. 

Obedient, sweet, and full of seemly shame. 

She, in the primal age. 

The person decks willi beauty ; moulding it 

Fitly through every part. 

In riper manhood, temperate, firm of heart, 

With love replenish'd, and with courteous praise, 

In loyal deeds alone she hath delight. 

And, in her elder days, 

For prudent and just largeness is she known ; 
^ Rejoicing with herself, 

^ That wisdom in her staid discourse be shown. 

Then, in life's fourth division, at the last 

She weds with God .ngain. 

Contemplating the end she shall attam ; 

And looketh back ; and blesieth the time past." 

His lyric poems, indeed, generally stand much in need of a comment to explain them; but the 
difficulty arises rather from the thoughts themselves, than from any imperfection of the language in which 
those thoughts are conveyed. Yet they abound not only in deep moral reflection.s, but in touches of 
tenderness and passion. 

Some, it has been already intimated, have supposed that Beatrice was only a creature of Dante's 
imagination ; and there can be no question but that he has invested her, in the " Divina Commedia," with 
the attributes of an allegorical being. But who can. doubt of her having had a real existence, when she is 
spoken of in such a strain of passion as in these lines ? 

" Quel ch' ella par, quando un pjco sorride, 

Non si pu6 dicer ne tenere a mente, 

Si e nuovo miracolo e gentile." — Vila Numa. 
" Mira che quando ride 

Passa ben di dolcezza ogni altra cosa." — Cant. xv. 

The canzone from which the last couplet is taken presents a portrait which might well supply a painter 
with a far more exalted idea of female beauty than he could form to himself from the. celebrated Ode of 
Anacreon on a similar subject. After a minute description of those parts of her form which the garments 
of a modest woman would suffer to be seen, he raises the whole by the superaddition of a moral grace and 
dignity, such as the Christian religion alone could supply, and such as the pencil of Raphael afterwards 
aimed to represfent : 

" Umile vergognosa e temperata, 
E sempre a vertii grata. 
Intra suoi be' costumi un atto regn.i, 
Che d' ogni riverenza la fa degna." ' 

One or two of the sonnets prove that he could at times condescend to sportiveness and pleasantry. 
The following, to Brunetto, I should conjecture to have been sent with his "Vita Nuova," which was 
written the year before Brunetto died : 

" llaster BnineUo, this I send, entreating 

Ye'U entertain this lass of mine at Easter j 

She does not come among you as a feaster ; 

No : shs has need of reading, not of eating. 
Nor let her tncl you at some merry meeting, 

Laughing amidst buffoons and drollers, lest her 

Wise sentence should escape a noisy jester: 

She must be wooed, and is well worth the weeting. 
If in this sort you fail to make her out. 

You have amongst you many sapient men. 

All famous as was Albert of Cologne. 
I have been posed amid that learned rout. 

And if they cannot spell her right, why then 

Call Master Giano, and the deed is done."* 

' I am aware that this canzone i» not ascribed to Dante in the i little doubt of its being genuine, that he founds on it the chief argu 

collection of " Sonetti e Canzoni," printed by the Giunti in 1527. | ment to prove an old picture in his possession to be intended fora 

Monti, in his "Proposta," under the word " Induare," remarks that j representation of Beatrice. See Fraticelli's " Opere Minon di 

it is quite in the style of Fazio degli Uberti; and adds, that a very Dante," tom. i., p. 203, l2mo, Firenze, 1834. 

rare MS. possessed by Perticari restores it to that writer. On the i ^ Fraticelli (ibid., pp. 302, 303) questions the genuineness o< 

other hand, Missirini, in a late treatise '• On the Love of Dante and | this sonnet, and decides on the spuriousness of that which fohow*. 

on the Portrait of Beatrice," printed at Florence in 1832, makes so ! I do not, in cither instance, feel the justness of his reasons. 


XV 11 1 


Another, though on a more serious subject, is yet remarkable for a fancifulness such as that with 
which Chaucer, by a few spirited touclies. often conveys to us images more strii<ing Uian others have done 
by repeated and elaborate efforts of skill : 

" Came Melancholy to my lide one day, 

And said, ' I must a little bide with Ihec ••' 

And brought along with her in company 

Sorrow and Wralh.— Quoth I to her, ' Away : 
I will have none of you : make no delay.' 

And. like a Greek, she gave me stout reply. 

Then, as she talk'd, I look'd, and did espy 

V«'hcre Love was coming onward on the way 
A garment new of cloth ol black he had, 

And on his head a hat of mourning wore ; 

And he, of truth, unfeigncdly was crying. 
Forthwith I ask'd, 'What ails ihee, caitiff lad?' 

And he rejoin'd, ' Sad thought and anguish sore, 

Sweet brother mine I our lady lies a-dying.' " 

For purity of diction, the rime of our author are, I think, on the whole, preferred by Miiratori to his 
"Divina Commedia," though that also is allowed to be a model of the pure Tuscan idiom. To this singular 
production, which has not only stood the test of ages, but given a tone and colour to the poetry of modern 
Europe, and even animated the genius of Milton and of Michael Angelo, it would be diflTicult to assign its 
place according to the received rules of criticism. Some have termed it an epic poem, and others a satire; 
but it matters little by what naine it is called. It suffices that the poem seizes on the heart by its two great 
holds, terror and pity ; detains the fancy by an accurate and lively delineation of the objects it represents ; 
and displays throughout such an originality of conception, as leaves to Homer and Shakespeare alone the 
power of challenging the pre-eminence or equality.' The fiction, it has been remarked,* is admirable, and 
the work of an inventive talent truly great. It comprises a description of the heavens and heavenly bodies ; 
a description of men, their deserts and punishments, of supreme happiness and utter misery, and of the 

' Yet his pretensions to originality have not been wholly un- 
questioned. Uante, it has been supposed, was more immediately 
influenced in his choice of a subject by the "Vision" of Alberico, 
written in barbarous I.atin prose about the beginning of the twelfth 
century. The incident which is said to have given birth to this 
composition is not a little marvellous. Alberico, the son of noble 
parents, and bom at a castle in the neighbourhood of .Mvito, in the 
diocese of Sora, in the year I lot, or soon after, when he had com- 
pleted his «iinth year, was seized with a violent fit of illness, which 
deprived him of his senses for the space of nine days. During the 
continuance of this trance he had a vision, in which he seemed to 
himself to be carried a\viy by a dove, and conducted by St. Peter, in 
company with two angels, through Purgatory and Hell, to survey the 
torments of sinners, the saint giving him information, as they pro- 
ceeded, respecting what he saw ; after which they were transported 
together through the seven heavens, and taken up into Paradise to 
behold the glory of the blessed. As soon as he came to himself 
again, he was permitted to make profession of a religious life in the 
monastery of Monte Casino. As the account he gave of his vision 
was strangely altered in the reports that went abroad of it, Girardo, 
the abbot, employed one of the monks to iovm a relation of it, 
dictated by the mouth of Alberico himself. Senioretto, who was 
chosen abbot in 1127, not contented with this narrative, although it 
seemed to have every chance of being authentic, ordered Alberico to 
revise and correct it, which he accordingly did with the assistance of 
Pietro Diacono, who was his associate in the monastery, and a few 
years younger than himself; and whose testimony to his extreme 
and perpetual self-mortification, and to a certain abslracteduess of 
demeanour, which showed him to converse with other thoughts than 
those of this life, is still on record. The time of Alberico's death 
is not known ; but it is conjectured that he reached to a good old 
age. His " Vision," with a preface by the first editor, Guido, and 
preceded by a letter from Alberico himself, is preserved in a MS. 
numliere<l 257, in the archives of the monastery, which contains the 
works of Plelro Diacono, and which was written between the years 
1159 and 1 181. The probability of our poet's having been indebted was first remarked either by Giovanni Bottari in a letter in- 
serted in the " Deca di Slmbnli," and printed at Rome in 1753; or, 
as F. Cancellieri conjectures, in the preceding year by Alessio Sim- 
maco Mazzocchi. In 1801 extracts from Alberico's "Vision" were 
laid before the public in a quarto pamphlet, printed at Rome, with 
the title of " Leltcra di Eustazio DIcearcheo ad Angelio Sidicino," 

under which appellations the writer, Giustino di Costanzo, concealed 
his own name and that of his friend, Luigi Anton. Sompano; and 
the whole has since, in 1814, been edited in the same city by Fran- 
cesco Cancellieri, who has added to the original an Italian transla- 
tion. Such parts of it as bear a marked resemblance to passages in 
the "Divina Commedia" will be found distributed in their proper 
places throughout the following Notes. The reader will in these 
probably see enough to convince him that our author had read this 
singular work, although nothing to detract from his claim to origi- 
nality. Long before the public notice had been directed to this 
sup|50sed imitation, Malatcsta Porta, in the Dialogue entitled 
" Rossi," as referred to by Fontanini in his " Eloqucnza ItaUana." 
had suggested the probability that Dante had taken his plan 
from an ancient romance, called " Gucrrino di Durazzo il Mes- 
chino." The above-mentioned Boltari, however, adduced rer.sons 
for concluding that this book was written originally in Provencal, 
and not translated into Italian till after the time of our poet, 
by one Andrea di Barberino, who embellished it with many images, 
and particularly with similes, borrowed from the "Divina Com- 
media." Mr. Warton, in one part of his "History of English 
Poetry," vol. i., § xvlii., p. 463, has observed that a poem, entitled 
" Le Voye on le Songe d'Enfer," was written by Raoul de 
Houdane, about the year 1180; and in another part (vol. ii., 
§ X., p. 219) he has attributed the origin of Dante's poem to 
that "favourite apologue, the 'Somnlum Scipionis ' of Cicero, 
which, in Chaucer's words, treats 

' Of heaven and hell 
And yearth and souls that therein dwell.' 

Assembly of Foules." 

It is likely that > little research might discover many other sources 
from which his invention might, with an equal appearance of tnith, be 
derived. The method of conveying instruction or entertainment 
under (he form of a vision, in which the living should be made to 
converse with the dead, was so obvious, that it would be, perhaps, 
difficult to mention any country in which it had not been employed. 
It is the scale of magnificence on which this conception was framed, 
and the wonderfiil development of it in all its parts, that may justly 
entitle our poet to rank anion;; the few minds to whom the power 0/ 
a great creative faculty can be ascribed. 
• Leonardo Aretino, " Vita di Dante." 



middle state between the two extremes: nor, perhaps, was there ever any one who chose a more ample and 
fertile subject, so as to afford scope for the expression of all his ideas, from the vast multitude of spirits 
that are introduced speaking on such different topics, who are of so many different countries and ages, and 
under circumstances of fortune so striking and so diversified, and who succeed one to another with such a 
rapidity as never suffers the attention for an instant to pall. 

His solicitude, it is true, to define all his images in such a manner as to bring them distinctly within 
the circle of our vision, and to subject them to the power of the pencil, sometimes renders him little better 
than grotesque, where Milton has since taught us to expect sublimity. But his faults, in general, were less 
those of the poet than of the age in which he lived. For his having adopted the popular creed in all its 
extravagance, we have no more right to blame him than we should have to blame Homer because he made 
use of the hf^then deities, or Shakespeare on account of his witches and fairies. The supposed influence 
of the stars on the disposition of men at their nativity, was hardly separable from the distribution which he 
had made of the glorified spirits through the heavenly bodies, as the abodes of bliss suited to their several 
endowments. And whatever philosophers may think of the matter, it is certainly much better, for the ends 
of poetr)', at least, that too much should be believed, rather than less, or even no more than can be proved 
to be true. Of what he considered the cause of civil and religious liberty, he is on all occasions the zealous 
and fearless advocate ; and of that higher freedom, which is seated in the will, he was an assertor equally 
strenuous and enlightened. The contemporary of Thomas Aquinas, it is not to be wondered if he has given 
his poem a tincture of the scholastic theology, which the writings of that extraordinary man had rendered 
so prevalent, and without which it could not perhaps have been made acceptable to the generality of his 
readers. The phraseology has been accused of being at times hard and uncouth ; but, if this is acknow- 
ledged, yet it must be remembered that he gave a permanent stamp and character to the language in which 
he wrote, and in which, before him, nothing great had been attempted ; that the diction is strictly vernacular, 
without any debasement of foreign idiom; that his numbers have as much variety as the Italian ton"-ue, at 
least in that kind of metre, could supply; and that, although succeeding writers may have surpassed him in 
the lighter graces and embellishments of style, not one of them has equalled him in succinctness, vivacity, 
and strength. 

Never did any poem rise so suddenly into notice after the death of its author, or engage the public 
attention more powerfully, than the " Divina Commedla." This cannot be attributed solely to its intrinsic 
excellence. The freedom with which the writer had treated the most distinguished characters of his time, 
gave it a further and stronger hold on the curiosity of the age: many saw in it their acquaintances, kins- 
men, and friends, or, what scarcely touched them less nearly, their enemies, either consigned to infamy or 
recorded with honour, and represented in another world as tasting 

" Of heaven's sweet cup, or poisonous drug of hell ;" 

so that not a page could be opened without e.Kciting the strongest personal feelings in the mind of the 
reader. These sources of interest must certainly be taken into our account, when we consider the rapid 
diffusion of the work, and the unexampled pains that were taken to render it universally intelligible. Not 
only the profound and subtile allegory which pervaded it, the mysterious style of prophecy which the writer 
occasionally assumed, the bold and unusual metaphors which he everywhere employed, and the great 
variety of knowledge he displayed ; but his hasty allusions to passing events, and the description of persons 
by accidental circumstances, such as some peculiarity of form or feature, the place of their nativity or abode, 
some office they held, or the heraldic insignia they bore — all asked for the help of commentators and 
expounders, who were not long wanting to the task. Besides his two sons, to whom that labour most pro- 
perly belonged, many others were found ready to engage in it. Before the century had expired, there 
appeared the commentaries of Accorso de' Bonfantini,' a Franciscan; of Micchino da Mezzano, a canon of 
Ravenna ; of Fra. Riccardo, a Carmelite ; of Andrea, a Neapolitan ; of Guiniforte Bazzisio, a Bergamese ; 
of Fra. Paola Albertino; and of several writers whose names are unknown, and whose toils, when Pelli 
wrote, were concealed in the dust of private libraries.'' About the year 1350, Giovanni Visconti, Archbishop 
of Milan, selected six of the most learned men in Italy — two divines, two philosophers, and two Florentines — 
and gave it them in charge to contribute their joint endeavours towards the compilation of an ample 
comment, a copy of which is preserved'in the Laurentian library at Florence. Who these were is no longer 
known ; but Jacopo della Lana' and Petrarch are conjectured to have been among the number. At 

• Tiraboschi, "Storia deUa Toes. lul.," vol. ii., p. 39; and 
Pelli, p. 119. 

» The "Letteradi Eustazio Dicearcheo," &c., mentioned in Note 
I on p. xviii., contains many extracts from an early MS. of tlie 
"Divina Commedia," with marginal notes iii Latin, preserved in 
the monastery 01" Monte Casino. To these extracts I shall have 
Irequent occasion to rclei 

• Pelli, p. 119, the writer — who is termed some- 
times "the good," sometimes the "old commentator," by tl-.cse 
deputed to correct the " Decameron," in the preface to their 
explanatoiy notes— and who began his work in 1334, is known 
to be Jacopo della L.ina ; and tliat his commentary was trans- 
lated into Latin by Alberigo da Kosada, Doctor of Laws at 



Rorence a public lecture was founded for the purpose of explaining a poem that was at the same time the 
boast and the disgrace of the city. The decree for this institution was passed in 1373 ; and in that year 
IJiJccaccio, the first of their writers in prose, was appointed, with an annual salary of 100 florins, to 
deliver lectures inone of the churches, on the first of their poets. On this occasion he wrote his comment, 
which extends only to a part of the " Inferno," and has been printed. In 1375 Boccaccio died ; and among 
his successors in this honourable employment we find the names of Antonio Piovano in 13S1, and of 
lulippo Viliani in 1401. 

The example of Florence was speedily followed by Bologna, by Pisa, by Piacenza. and by Venice. 
Bcnvenuto da Imola, on whom the office of lecturer devolved at Bologna, sustained it for the space of ten 
years. From the comment, which he composed for the purpose, and which he sent abroad in 1379, those 
passages that tend to illustrate the history of Italy have been published by MuratorL' At Pisa the same 
charge was committed to Francesco da Buti, about 1386. 

On the invention of printing, in the succeeding century, Dante was one of those writers who were first 
and most frequently given to the press. But I do not mean to enter on an account of the numerous 
editions of our author which were then or have since been published, but shall content myself with 
adding such remarks as have occurred to me on reading the principal writers, by whose notes those editions 
have been accompanied. 

Of the four chief commentators on Dante, namely Landino, Vellutcllo, Venturi, and Lombard!, the first 
appears to enter most thoroughly into the mind of the poet. Within little more than a century of the time 
in which Dante had lived ; himself a Florentine, while Florence was still free, and still retained something 
of her ancient simplicity; the associate of those great men who adorned the age of Lorenzo de' Medici; 
Landino' was the most capable of forming some estimate of the mighty stature of his compatriot, who was 
indeed greater than them alL His taste for the classics, which were then newly revived, and had become 
the principal objects of public curiosity, as it impaired his relish for what has not inaptly been termed the 
romantic literature, did not, it is true, improve him for a critic on the " Divina Commedia." The adventures 
of King Arthur, by which Dante had been delighted, appeared to Landino no better than a fabulous and 
inelegant book.' He is, besides, sometimes, unnecessarily prolix ; at others, silent, where a real difficulty 
asks for solution ; and, now and then, a little visionary in his interpretation. The commentary of his 
successor, Vellutcllo,* is niore evenly diffused over the text; and although without pretensions to the higher 
qualities, by which Landino is distinguished, he is generally under the influence of a sober good sense, which 
renders him a steady and useful guide. Venturi.* who followed after a long interval of time, was too much 
swayed by his principles or his prejudices, as a Jesuit, to suffer him to judge fairly of a Ghibelline poet ; and 
either this bias or a real want of tact for the higher excellence of his author, or, perhaps, both these 
imperfections together, betray him into such impertinent and injudicious sallies, as dispose us to quarrel with 
our companion, though, in the main, a very attentive one, generally acute and lively, and at times even not 
devoid of a better understanding for the merits of his master. To him, and in our own times, has succeeded 
the Padre Lombard!.* This good Franciscan, no doubt, must have given himself much pains to pick out 
and separate Ihose ears of grain which had escaped tlie flail of those who had gone before him in that 
labour. But his zeal to do something new often leads him to do something that is not over wise ; and if on 
certain occasions we applaud his sagaciousness, on others we do not less wonder that his ingenuity should 
have been so strangely perverted. His manner of writing is awkward and tedious ; his attention, more than 
is necessary, directed to grammatical niceties; and his attachment to one of the old editions so excessive, 
as to render him disingenuous or partial in his representation of the rest. But to compensate this, he is a 
good Ghibelline; and his opposition to Venturi seldom fails to awaken him into a perception of those 
beauties which had only exercised the spleen of the Jesuit. 

He who shall undertake another commentary on Dante' yet completer than any of those which have 
hitherto appeared, must make use of these four, but depend on none. To them he must add several others 
of minor note, whose diligence will nevertheless be found of some advantage, and among whom I can 
particularly distinguish Volpi. Besides this, many commentaries and marginal annotations, that are yet 
inedited, remain to be examined ; many editions and manuscripts* to be more carefully collated ; and many 

' " Antiq. Ital.," T. i. The Italian comment published under 
•he name of Bcnvenuto da Imola, at Milan, in 1473, and at Venice, 
in 1477, is altogether different from that which Muratori has brought 
to .light, and appears to be the same as the Italian comment of 
Jacopo della Lana before mentioned. See Tiraboschi. 

' Cristofforo Landino was Iwm in I424, and died in 1 504 or 
1508. See Bandini, "Specimen Litterat. Klorent.," edit. Florence, 

• " II favoloto, e non mollo elegante libro della Tavola Rotonda." 
— L^uJiuo, in tht NoUt tt the ParaJiu, xvi. 

* Allessandro Vcllutello was bom in 1519. 

* Pompeo Venturi was bom in 1693, and died in 1 752. 

' liaUlassare Ixjmbardi died Januaiy 2, l8o2. See Cancellicri, 
" Osscrvazioni," &a, Rom.-i., 18I4, p. 112. 

' Francesco Cionacci, a noble Florentine, projected an edition 
of the " Divina Commedia " in 100 volumes, each containing a 
single canto, followed by all the commentaries, according to the 
order of time in which they were written, and accompanied by a 
I^tin tmnslalion for the use of foreigners. — Canctllieri, Ibid., p. 64. 

* The Count Mortara has lately shown me many various readings 


separate dissertations and works of criticism to be considered. But this is not all. That line of reading 
which the poet himself appears to have pursued (and there are many vestiges in his works by which we 
shall be enabled to discover it) must be diligently tracked ; and the search, I have little doubt, would lead 
to sources of information equally profitable and unexpected. 

If there is anything of novelty in the Notes which accompany the following translation, it will be found 
to consist chiefly in a comparison of the poet with himself, that is, of the " Divina Commedia" with his other 
writings ; ' a mode of illustration so obvious, that it is only to be wondered how others should happen to 
have made so little use of it As to the imitations of my author by later poets, Italian and English, which 
I have collected in addition to those few that had been already remarked, they contribute little or nothing 
to the purposes of illustration, but must be considered merely as matter of curiosity, and as instances of 
tlae mannef-in which the great practitioners in art do not scruple to profit by their predecessors. 

he has remarked on collating the numerous MSS. of Dante in the i ' The edition which is referred to in the following Notes it that 

Canonici collection at the Bodleiau. I printed at Venice in 2 voL«. 8vo, 1793. 




1265 May. — DANTE, son of Alighieri degli Alighieri and 

Bella, is born at Florence. Of his own ancestry he 

speaks in the " Paradise," canto xv., xvi. 
In the same year, Manfredi, King of Naples and Sicily, 

is defeated and slain by Charles of Anjou. " Hell," 

xxviii. 13; "Purgatory," lii. no. 
Guido Novello of Polenta obtains the sovereignty of 

Ravenna. " Hell," xxvii. 38. 
battle of Evesham. Simon de Montfort, leader of the 

barons, defeated and slain. 

1266 Two of the Frati Godenti chosen arbitrators of the 

differences of Florence. " Hell," xxiii. 104. 

Gianni dc' Soldanieri heads the populace in that city. 
" Hell," xxxii. 118. 

Roger Bacon sends a copy of his " Opus Majus " to 
Pope Clement IV. 
1268 Charles of Anjou puts Conradine to death, and be- 
comes King of Naples. "Hell," xxviii. 16; "Pur- 
gatory,'*" XX. 66. 
1270 Louis IX. of France dies before Tunis. His widow, 
Beatrice, daughter of Raymond Berenger, lived till 
1295. " Purgatory," vii. 126; " Paradise," vi. 135. 
1272 Henry III. of England is succeeded by Edward I. 
" Purgatory," vii. 129. 

Guy de Montfort murders Prince Henry, son of Richard, 
King of the Romans, and nephew of Henry III. of 
England, at Viterbo. "Hell," xii. 119. Richard 
dies, as is supposed, of grief for this event. 

Abulfeda, the Arabic writer, is born. 
1274 Our poet first sees Beatrice, daughter of Folco Porti- 

Rodolph acknowledged Emperor. 

Philip III. of France marries Mary of Brabant, who 
lived till 1321. " Purgatory," vL 24. 

Thomas Aquinas dies. " Purgatory,;' xx. 67; " Para- 
dise," X. 96. 

Buonaventura dies. " Paradise," xii. 25. 
1 27s Pierre de la Brosse, secretary to Philip III. of France, 
executed. " Purgatory," vi. 23. 

1 276 Giotto, the painter, is born. " Purgatory," xi. 95. 
Pope Adrian V. dies. " Purgatory," xix. 97. 

Guido Guinicclli, the poet, dies. " Purgatory," xi. 96, 
xxvi. 83. 

1277 Pope John XXL die*. " Paradise," xii. 126k 

1278 Ottocar, King of Bohemia, dies. "Purgatory," vii. 97. 

Robert of Gloucester is living at this time. 

1279 D'onysius succeeds to the throne of Portugal "Para- 

dise," xix. 135. 

1280 Albertus Magnus dies. " Paradise," x. 95. 

Our poet's friend, Busone da Gubbio, is born about 

this time. See the Life of Dante, prefixed. 
William of Ockham is born about this time. 

1281 Pope Nicholas 111. dies. "Hell," xix. 71. 

Dante studies at the Universities of Bologna and Padua. 
About this time Ricordano Malaspina, the Florentine 
annalist, dies. 

1282 The Sicilian vespers. "Paradise," viii. 80. 

The French defeated by the people of Forii. " HelL" 

xxvii. 41. 
Tribaldello de' Manfredi betrays the city of Faenza 

"HelV'xxxii. 119. 

1284 Prince Charles of Anjou is defeated and made prisoner 

by Rugier de Lauria, admiral to Peter III. of Arragon. 

" Purgatory," xx. 78. 
Charles I., King of Naples, dies. "Purgatory," vii. ill. 
Alonzo X. of Castile dies. He caused the Bible to be 

translated into Castilian, and all legal instruments to 

be drawn up in that language. Sancho IV. succeeds 

Philip (next year IV. of France) marries Jane, daughter 

of Henry of Navarre. " Purgatory," vii. 102. 

1285 Pope Martin IV. dies. "Purgatory," xxiv. 23. 
Philip III. of France and Peter III. of Arragon die. 

" Purgatory," vii. loi, 1 10. 
Henry II., King of Cyprus, comes to the throne. 

" Paradise," xix. 144. 
Simon Memmi, the painter, celebrated by Petrarch, is 

1387 Guido dalle Colonne (mentioned by Dante in his "De 

Vulgari Eloquentia") write? "The War of Troy." 
Pope Honorius IV. dies. 
1288 Haquin, King of Norway, makes war on Denmark. 

"Paradise," xix. 135. 
Count Ugolino de' Gherardeschi dies of famine, " Hell," 

xxxiii. 14. 
The Scottish poet, Thomas Learmouth, commonly 

called Thomas the Rhymer, is living at thii 




1289 Dante is in the battle of Campaldino, where the Floren- 

tines defeat the people of Arezzo, June 11. "Pur- 
gatory," V. 90. 

1290 Beatrice dies. "Purgatory," xxxii. 2. 

He serves in the war waged by the Florentines i.|joil 

the Pisans, and is present at the surrender of Capntns 

in the autumn. "Hell," xxi. 92. 
Giiido dalle Colonne dies 
William, Marquis of Montferrat. is made prisoner by 

his traitorous subjects at Alessandria, in Lombardy- 

" Pur^ory," vii. 133. 
Michael Scot dies. " Hell," xx. iij. 

1291 Dante marries Gemma de' Donati, with whom he lives 

unhappily. By this marriage he had five sons and a 

Can Grande della Scala is born, March 9. " Hell," 

i. 98; "Purgatory," xx. 16; "Paradise," xvii. 75, 

xxvii. 135. 
The renegade Christians assist the Saracens to recover 

St. John D'Acre. " Hell," xxvii 84. 
The Emperor Rodolph dies. " Purgatory," vi. 104, 

vii. 91. 
Alonzo HI. of Arragon dies, and is succeeded by 

James II. " Purgatory," vii. 113 ; "Paradise," xix. 

Eleanor, widow of Henry III., dies. " Paradise," 

vi. 135- 

1292 Pope Nicholas IV. dies 
Roger Eacon dies. 

John Baliol King of Scotland, crowned. 
1291 Clement V. abdicates the Papal chair. "Hell." iii. 56. 
Dante writes his "Vita Nuova." 
Fra Guittone d'Arezzo, the poet. dies. "Purgatoiy," 

xxiv. 56. 
Andrea Taffi. of Florence, the worl<er in mosaic, dies. 

1295 D.inte's preceptor, Brunetto Latini, dies. "Hell," 

XV. 28. 
Cli.irlcs Martel. King of Hungary, visits Florence, 

" Paradise," viii. 57, and dies in the s.nme year. 
Frederick, son of Peter III. of Arragon, becomes King 

of Sicily. " Purgatory," vii. 117; " Paradise," xix. 

Taddco, the physician of Florence, called the Hippo- 

cratean, dies. "Paradise," xii. 77. 
Marco Polo, the traveller, returns from the East to 

Ferdinand IV. of Castile comes to the throne. " Para- 
dise," xix. 122. 

1296 Forese, the companion of Dante, dies. "Purgatory," 

xxxiii. 44. 
Sadi, the most celebrated of the Persian writers, dies. 
War between England and Scotland, which termi- 
nates in the submission of the Scots to Edward I. ; 
but in the following year. Sir William Wallace 
attempts the deliverance of Scotland. " Paradise," 
xtx. 121. 
1298 The Emperor Adolphus falls in a battle with his rival, 
Albert I., who succeeds him in the empire. " Purga- 
tory," vi. 98. 
Jacopo da Varagine, Archbishop of Genoa, author of 
the " Legenda Aurea," dies. 
1300 The Bianchi and Neri parties take their rise in Pistoia. 
" HeU," xxxii. 6c»- 

1300 This is the year in which Dante supposes himself to see 

his Vision. " Hell," i. i ; xxi. 109. 
He is chosen chief magistrate, or first of the Priors of 

Florence, and continues in office from June 15 to 

August 15. 
Cimabue, the painter, dies. " Purgatory," xi. 93. 
Guido Cavalcanti, the most beloved of our poet's friends, 

dies. " Hell," x. S9 ; " Purgatory," xi. 96 

1301 The Bianchi party expels the Neri from Pistoia. " Hell," 

xxiv. 142. 

1302 January 27. During his absence at Rome, Dante is 

mulcted by his fellow-citizens in the sum of 8,000 lire, 
and condemned to two years' banishment. 

1302 March to. He is sentenced, if taken, to be burned. 

Fulcieri de'Calboli commits great atrocities on certain 

of the Ghibelline party. " Purgatory," xiv. 61. 
Carlino de' Pazzi betrays the castle di Piano TravignCj 

in Valdarno. to the Florentines. " Hell," xxxii. 67. 
The French vanquished in the battle of Courtrai. 

" Purgatory," xx. 47. 
James, King of Majorca an4 Minorca, dies. "Paradise," 

xix. 133. 

1303 Pope Boniface VII 1. dies. " Hell," xix. 55 ; "Purga- 

tory," XX. 86, xxxii. 146 ; " Paradise," xxvii. 20 
The other exiles appoint Dante one of a council of 
twelve, under Alessandro da Romena. He appears 
to have been much dissatisfied with his colleagues. 
" Paradise," xvii. 61. 
Robert of Brunne translates into English verse the 
" Manuel de Peches," a treatise written in French by 
Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln. 

1304 Dante joins with the exiles in an unsuccessful attack on 

the city of Florence. 
May. The bridge over the Arno breaks down during 

a representation of the infernal torments exhibited 

on that river. "Hell," xxvi. 9. 
July 20. Petrarch, whose father had been banished 

two years before from Florence, is born at Arezzo. 

1305 Wiiiccslnus II , King of Bohemia, dies. " Purgatory," 

vii. 99; "Paradise," xix. 123. 
A conflagration happens at Florence. " Hell," xxvi. 9. 
Sir William Wallace is executed at London. 

1306 Dante visits Padua. 

1307 He is in Lunigiana with the Marchese Marcello Mala- 

spina. " Purgatory," viii. 133, xix. 140. 
Dolcino, the fanatic, is burned. " Hell," xxviii. 53. 
Edward 1 1, of England comes to the throne. 

1308 The Emperor Albert I. murdered. " Purgatory," vi. 

98; "Paradise," xix. 1 14. 

Corso Donati, Dante's political enemy, slain. "Pur- 
gatory," xxiv. 81. 
He seeks an asylum at Verona, under the roof of the 

Signori della Scala. " Paradise," xvii. 69. 
He wanders, about this time, over various parts of Italy. 

See his " Convito." He is at Paris a second time ; 

and, according to one of the early commentators, 

visits Oxford. 
Robert, the patron of Petrarch, is crowned King of 

Sicily. " Paradise," i.x. 2. 
Duns Scotus dies. He was born about the same time 

as Dante. 

1309 Cliarles II., King of Naples, dies. "Paradise," xix, 




1310 The Order oJ the Templars abolished. " Purgator)-," 

XX. 94. 

Jean de Meun, the continuer of the Roman de la Rose, 
dies about this time. 

Pier Crescenzi of Bologna writes his book on agri- 
culture, in Latin. 

1311 Fra Giordano da Kivalta, of Pisa, a Dominican, the 

author of sermons esteemed for the purity of the 
Tuscan language, dies. 

1312 Robert, King of Sicily, opposes the coronation of the 

Emperor Henry VII. " Paradise," viii. 59. 

Ferdinand IV. of Castile dies, and is succeeded by 
Alonzo XI. 

Dino Coiiip.igni, a distinguished Florentine, concludes 
his history of his own time, written in elegant Italian. 

Caddo Gaddi, the Florentine artist, dies. 
131 J The Emperor Henry of Lu.\emburgh, by whom Dante 
had hoped to be restored 10 Florence, dies. " Para- 
dise," xvii. 80, XXX. 135. Henry is succeeded by 
Lewis of Bavaria. 

Dante takes refuge at Ravenna, with Guido Noveilo da 

Giovanni Boccaccio is bora. 

1313 Pope Qement V. dies. "Hell," xix. 86; "Paradise," 

xxvii. 53, XXX. 141. 

1314 Philip IV. of France dies. "Purgatory," vii. 108; 

"Paradise," xix. 117. 
Louis X. succeeds. 

Ferdinand IV. of Sp.tin dies. " Paradise," xix. 122. 
Giacopo da Carrara defeated by Can Grande, who 

makes himself master of Vicenza. "Paradise," 

be. 45. 

1315 Louis X. of France marries Clemenza, sister to our 

poet's friend, Charles Martel, King of Hungary. 
" Paradise," ix. 2. 

1316 Louis X. of France dies, and is succeeded by Philip V. 
John XXII. elected Pope. " Paradise," xxvii. 53. 
Joinville, the French historian, dies about this time, 

1320 About this time John Gower is born, eight years before 

his friend Chaucer. 

1321 July. Dante dies at Ravenna, of a complaint brought 

on by disappointment at bis failure in a negotiation 
which he liad been conducting with the Venetians, 
for his patron Guido Noveilo da Polenta. 
His obsequies are sumptuously performed at Ravenna 
by Guido, who himself died in the ensuing year. 

p. I. 

In the midway of this our mortal Hie, 
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray. 

Canto I., lines I, 2. 





The writer, having lost his way in a gloomy forest, and being hindered by certain wild beasts from.ascending a mountain, 

is met by Virgil, who promises to show him the punishments of Hell, and afterwards of Purgatory ; and that he shall 
then be conducted by Beatrice into Paradise. He follows the Roman poet. 

T N the midway^ of this our mortal life, 
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray 
Gone from the path direct : and e'en to tell, 
It were no easy task, how savage wild 
That forest, how robust and rough its growth, 
Which to remember" only, my dismay 
Renews, in bitterness not far from death. 
Yet, to discourse of what there good befell, 
All else will I relate discover'd there. 

How first I enter'd it I scarce can say, 
Such sleepy dulness in that instant weigh'd 
My senses down, when the true path I left ; 
But when a mountain's foot I reach'd, where closed 
The valley that had pierced my heart with dread, 
I look'd aloft, and saw his shoulders broad 
Already vested with that planet's beam,* 
Who leads all wanderers safe through every way. 

• In the midway. — That the era of the Poem is in- 
tended by these words to be fixed to the thirty-fifth year 
of the poet's age, a.D. 1300, will appear more plainly in 
Canto xxi., where that date is explicitly marked. In his 
"Convito," human life is compared to an' arch or bow, 
the highest point of which is, in those well framed by 

nature, at their thirty-fifth year. " Opere di Dante," 
ediz. Ven. Svo, 1793, torn, i., p. 195. 

' Which to renumber. — " Even when I remember I am 
afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh," Job 
xxi. 6. 

* That planet's beam. — The sun. 




Then was a little respite to the fear, 
That in my heart's recesses' deep had lain 
All of that night, so pitifully past : 
And as a man, with difficult short breath, 
Forespent with toiling, 'scaped from sea to shore, 
Turns" to the perilous wide waste, and stands 
At gaze ; e'en so my spirit, that yet fail'd, 
Struggling with terror, turn'd to view the straits 
That none hath past and lived. My weary frame 
After short pause re-comforted, again 
I journey 'd on over that lonely steep, 
The hinder foot^ still firmer. Scarce the ascent 
Began, when, lo ! a panther,* nimble, light. 
And cover'd with a Speckled skin, appear'd ; 
Nor, when it saw me, vanish'd ; rather strove 
To check my onward going ; that ofttimes, 
With purpose to retrace my steps, I turn'd. 

The hour was morning's prime, and on his way 
Aloft the sun ascended with those stars ^ 
That with him rose when Love divine first moved 
Those its fair works : so that with joyous hope 
All things conspired to fill me, the gay skin* 
Of that swift animal, the matin dawn, 
And the sweet season. Soon that joy was chased. 
And by new dread succeeded, when in view 
A lion^ came, 'gainst me as it appear'd, 

• My hearfs recesses. — Nel lago del cuor. Lombardi 
cites an imitation of this by Redi in his " Ditirambo :" 

" I buon vini son quegli, che acquetano 
Le procelle si fosche e rubelle, 
Che nel lago del cuor I'anime inquietano." 

• Turns. — So in our poet's second psalm : 

" Come colui, che andando per lo bosco, 
Da spino punto, a quel si volge e guarda." 
" Even as one, in passing through 'a wood, 
Pierced by a thorn, at which he turns and looks." 

• The hinder foot. — It is to be remembered that in 
ascending a hill the weight of the body rests on the hinder 

* A panther. — Ple.asure or luxury. 

* With those starsi — The sun was in Aries, in which 
sign he supposes it to have begun its course at the creation. 

* The gay skin. — A late editor of the " Divina Corn- 

media," Signor Zotti, has fpoken of the present trans- 
lation as the only one that has rendered this passage 
rightly : but Mr. Hayley had shown me the way, in his 
very skilful version of the first three Cantos of the 
" Inferno," inserted in the Notes to his " Essay on Epic 
Poetry : " 

" I now was raised to hope sublime 
By these bright omens of ray fate benign, 
The beauteous beast and the sweet hour of prime." 

All the commentators whom I have soea understand our 
poet to say that the season of the year and the hour of 
the day induced him to hope for the gay skin of the 
panther ; and there is something in the sixteenth Canto, 
verse 107, which countenances their interpretation, al- 
though that which I have followed still appears to me the 
more probable. 
f A lion. — Pride or ambition. 



y c 





/». 3- 

A lion came, 'gainst me as it appear'd, 
With his head held aloft, and hunger-mad. 

Canto I., lines 43, 44. 




With his head held aloft and hunger-mad, 
That e'en the air was fear-struck. A she-wolf 
Was at his heels, who in her leanness seem'd 
Full of all wants, and many a land hath made 
Disconsolate ere now. She with such fear 
O'erwhelm'd me, at the sight of her appall'd. 
That of the height all hope I lost. As one 
Who, with his gain elated, sees the time 
When all unwares is gone, he inwardly 
Mourns with heart-griping anguish ; such was I, 
Haunted by that fell beast, never at peace, 
Who coming o'er against me, by degrees 
Impell'd me where the sun in silence rests.* 

While to the lower space with backward step 
I fell, my ken discern 'd the form of one 
Whose voice seem'd faint through long disuse of speech. 
When him in that great desert I espied, 
** Have mercy on me," cried I out aloud, 
"Spirit! or living man! whate'er thou be." 

He answer'd : " Now not man, man once I was, 
And born of Lombard parents, Mantuans both 
By country, when the power of Julius^ yet 
Was scarcely firm. At Rome my life was past, 
Beneath the mild Augustus, in the time 

■ A tht-wolf. — Avarice. It cannot be doubted that 
the image of these three beasts coming against him is 
taken by our author from the prophet Jeremiah (v. 6) : 
" Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and 
a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall 
watch over their cities." Rossetti, following Dionisi and 
other later commentators, interprets Dante's leopard to 
denote Florence, his lion the King of France, and his 
wolf the Court of Rome. It is far from improbable that 
our author might have had a second allegory of this sort 
in his view ; even as Spenser, in the introductory letter to 
his poem, tells us that "in the ' Faery Queen* he meant 
Glory in his general intention, but in his particular he 
conceived the most excellent and glorious person of his 
sovereign the Queen. And yet," he adds, " in some 
places else I do otherwise shadow her." Such involution 
of allegorical meanings may well be supposed to have 
been frequently present to the mind of Dante throughout 
the composition of this poem. Whether his acute and 
eloquent interpreter, Rossetti, may not have been carried 
much too far in the pursuit of a favourite hypothesis, is 
another question ; and I must avow my disbelief of the 

secret jargon imputed to our poet and the otiier writers <A 
that time in the "Comment on thcDivina Commedia," and 
in the " Spirito Antipapale," the latter of which works is 
. familiarised to the English reader in Miss Ward's faithful 
' Where the sun in silence rests. — 
" The sun to me is dark, 
And silent as the moon, 
When she deserts the night, 
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave." 

Milton, Samson Agonistes. 
The same metaphor will recur, Canto v., verse 29 : 
" Into a place I came 
Where light was silent all." 
• When the poiver oj Julius. — 

" Nacqui sub Julio, ancorchd fosse tardi." 
This is explained by the commentators : " Although it 
were rather late with respect to my birth, before Julius 
Caesar assumed the supreme authority, and made himself 
perpetual dict.itor." Virgil indeed was born twenty-five 
years before that event. 



Of fabled deities and false, A bard 
Was 1, and made Anchises' upright son 
The subject of my song, who came from Troy, 
When the flames prey'd on Ilium's haughty towers.* 
But thou, say wherefore to such perils past 
Return 'st thou? wherefore not this pleasant mount 
Ascendest, cause and source of all delight?" 
•'And art thou then that Virgil, that well-spring. 
From which such copious floods of eloquence 
Have issued?" I with front abash'd replied. 
" Glory and light of all the tuneful train I 
May it avail me, that I long with zeal 
Have sought thy yolume, and with love immense 
Have conn'd it o'er. My master thou, and guide !' 
Thou he from whom alone I have derived 
That style, which for its beauty into fame 
Exalts me. See the beast, from whom I fled. 
Oh, save me from her, thou illustrious saget 
For every vein and pulse throughout my frame 
She hath made tremble." He, soon as he saw 
That I was weeping, answer'd, " Thou must needs 
Another way pursue, if thou wouldst 'scape 
From out that savage wilderness. This beast, 
At whom thou criest, her way will suffer none 
To pass, and no less hindrance makes than death : 
So bad and so accursed in her kind. 
That never sated is her rja^yenous will, 
Still after food^- more craving than before. 
To many an animal in wedlock vile 
She fastens, and shall yet to many more. 
Until that greyhound* come, who shall destroy 

• Iliunis haughty towers. — 

" Ceciditque superbum 
Ilium." Virgil, /Eneid, iii. 3. 

• My master thou, and guide 1 — 

" Tu se' lo mio maestro, e' 1 mio autore, 
Tu se' solo colui." 
Thou art my father, thou my author, thou." 

Milton, Parodist Lost, ii. 864. 

• Still after food. — So Frezz-: 

" La voglia sempre ha fame, e mai non s'empie, 
Ed al piu pasto pii^ riman digiuna." 

// Quadriregio, lib. ii., cap. xL 
Venturi observes that the verse in the original is bor 
rowed by Berni. 

* That greyhound. — This passage has been coininonly 
understood as a eulogium on the liberal spirit of hi>« 
Veronese patron, Can Grande della Scala. 

A 4. 

He soon as he saw 
That I was weeping, answer'd. 

Canto I., lines iT, 88. 

99 — 122. 


Her with sharp pain. He will not life support 

By earth nor its base metals, but by love, 

Wisdom, and virtue; and his land shall be 

The land 'twixt either Feltro.i In his might 

Shall safety to Italia's plains^ arise. 

For whose fair realm, Camilla, virgin pure, 

Nisus, Euryalus, and Turnus fell. 

He, with incessant chase, through every town 

Shall worry, until he to hell at length 

Restore her, thence by envy first let loose. 

I, for thy profit pondering, now devise 

That thou mayst follow me; and I, thy guide, 

Will lead thee hence through an eternal space, . 

Where thou shalt hear despairing shrieks, and see 

Spirits of old tormented, who invoke 

A second death ;^ and those next view, who dwell 

Content in fire,* for that they hope to come. 

Whene'er the time may be, among the blest, 

Into whose regions if thou then desire 

To ascend, a spirit worthier^ than I 

Must lead thee, in whose charge, when I depart, 

Thou shalt be left: for that Almighty King, 

Who reigns above, a rebel to his law 

Adjudges me ; and therefore hath decreed 

' 'Twixt eiihtr Feltro. — Verona, the country of Can- 
della Scala, is situated between Feltto, a city in the Marca 
Trivigiana, and Monte Feltro, a city in the territory of 
Urbino. But Dante perhaps does not merely point out 
the place of Can Grande's nativity, for he may allude 
further to a prophecy, ascribed to Michael Scot, which 
imported that the " Dog of Verona would be lord of Padua 
and of all the Marca Trivigiana." It was fulfilled in the 
year 1329, a little before Can Grande's death. See G. 
Villani "Hist.," hb. x., cap. cv. and cxli., and some lively 
criticism by Gasparo Gozzi, entitled "Giudizi'o degli Anti- 
chi Poeti," &c., printed at the end of the Zatta edition of 
"Dante," torn. iv.,partii., p. 15. The prophecy, it is likely, 
was a forgery ; for Michael died before 1300, when Can 
Grande was only nine years old. See "Hell," xx. 115, and 
"Paradise," xvii. 75. Troya has given anew interpreta- 
tion to Dante's prediction, which lie applies to Uguccione 
del la Faggiola, whose country also was situated between 
two Feltros. See the " Veltro Allegorico di Dante," p. 
no. But after all the pains he has taken, this very able 
writer fails to make it clear that Uguccione, though he 

acted a prominent part as a Ghibelline leader, is intended 
here of in " Purgatory," c. xxxiii. 38. The main proofs 
rest on an ambiguous report mentioned by Boccaccio of 
the " Inferno'' being dedicated to him, and on a sus- 
picious letter attributed to a certain friar Ilario, in which 
the friar describes Dante addressing him as a stranger, 
and desiring him to convey that portion of the poem to 
Uguccione. There is no direct allusion to him throughout 
the " Divina Commedia," as there is to the other chief 
public protectors of our poet during his e.xile. 

» Italia's plains.—"- Umile Italia," from Virgil 
"Mntid" lib. iii. 522. 

" Humilemque videmus 

• A second death. — " And in those days shall men 
seek death, and shall not find it ; and shall desire to die, 
and death shall flee from them," Rev. ix. 6. 

* Content in fire. — The spirits in Purgatory. 

' A spirit worthier. — Beatrice, who conducts the poet 
through Paradise. 

THE VISION. ia3-i3x 

That, to his city, none through me should come. 
He in all parts hath sway ; there rules, there holds 
His citadel and throne. Oh, happy those, 
Whom there he chooses I" I to him in few: 
" Bard ! by that God, whom thou didst not adore, 
I do beseech thee (that this ill and worse 
I may escape) to lead me where thou saidst. 
That I Saint Peter's gate^ may view, and those 
Who, as thou tell'st, are in such dismal plight." 
Onward he moved, I close his steps pursued. 

• Saint Peter's gate, — The gate of Purgatory, which the poet feigns to be guarded by an an^el placed on that 
station by St. Peter. 

p. 6. 

Onward he moved, I close his steps pursued. 

Canto I., liiu 132. 



/. 7- 

Now was the day departing. 

Canlo II., lint I. 



After the invocation, vrhtch posts are used to prefix to their works, he shows that, on a consideration of his own 
strength, he doubted whether it sufficed for the journey proposed to him, but that, being comforted by Virgil, 
he at last took courage, and followed him as his guide and master. 

XT OW was the day^ departing, and th^ air, 

■^ Embrown'd with shadows, from their toils released 

All animals on earth ;" and I alone 

Prepared myself the conflict to sustain, 

Both of sad pity, and that perilous road, 

Which my unerring memory shall retrace. 

Muses ! Oh, high genius ! now vouchsafe 
Your aid. Oh, mind !^ that all I saw hast kept 
Safe in a written record, here thy worth 

And eminent endowments come to proof. 

1 thus began : " Bard ! thou who art my guide, 
Consider well, if virtue be in me 

Sufficient, ere to this high enterprise 

Thou trust me. Thou hast told that Silvius' sire," 

Yet clothed in corruptible flesh, among 

The immortal tribes had entrance, and was there 

Sensibly present. Yet if heaven's great Lord, 

Almighty foe to ill, such favour show'd 

In contemplation of the high effect, 

Both what and who from him should issue forth, 

• Now was the day. — A compendium of Virgil's de- 
scription, "yEneid," lib. iv. 522. Compare ApoUonius 
Rhodius, lib. iii. 744, and lib. iv. 1058. 

"The day gan failin ; and the darke night. 
That revith bestis from their businesse, 
Berafte me my booke," &c. 

Chaucer, The Assemble of Foules. 

* Oh, mind. — 

" Oh, thought ! that write all that I met, 
And in tht tresorie it set 
Of my braine, now shall men see 
If any virtue in thee be." 

Chaucer, Temple of Fame, b. ii, v. i& 

• Sflvius' sire. — iEneas. 



«i— sa- 

lt seems in reason's judgment well deserved; 

Sith he of Rome and of Rome's empire wide, 

In heaven's empyreal height was chosen sire: 

Both which, if truth be spoken, were ordain'd 

And stablish'd for the holy place, where sits 

Who to great Peter's sacred chair succeeds. 

He from this journey, in thy song renown'd, 

Learn 'd things, that to his victory gave rise 

And to the Papal robe. In after-times 

The chosen vessel' also travell'd there,^ 

To bring us back assurance in that faith 

Which is the entrance to salvation's way. 

But I, why should I there presume? or who 

Permits it? not .^^neas. I, nor Paul. 

Myself I deem not worthy, and none else 

Will deem me. I, if on this voyage then 

I venture, fear it will in folly end. 

Thou, who art wise, better my meaning know'st, 

Than I can speak." As one, who unresolves 

What he hath late resolved, and with new thoughts 

Changes his purpose, from his first intent 

Removed ; e'en such was I on that dun coast, 

Wasting in thought my enterprise, at first 

So eagerly embraced. " If right thy words 

I scan," replied that shade magnanimous, 

"Thy soul is by vile fear assail'd,^ which oft 

So overcasts a man, that he recoils 

From noblest resolution, like a beast 

At some false semblance in the twilight gloom. 

That from this terror thou mayst free thyself, 

I will instruct thee why I came, and what 

I heard in that same instant, when for thee 

Grief touch 'd me first. I was among the tribe. 

' The chosen vessel. — St Paul. Acts ix. 1 5 : " But 
the Lord said unto him, Go thy way : for he is a chosen 
vessel unto me." 

' There. — This refers to "the immortal tribes," v. 16; 
St Paul having been caught up to heaven — 2 Cor. xii. 2. 

• Thy soul is by vile fear assaiPd. — 

" L'anima tua e da viltate ofTesa.'' 

So in Berni, "Orl. Inn.," lib. iii., c; i., sL 53 : "Se I'alma 
avete ofTcsa da viltate." 


I, who now bid thee on this errand forth, 
Am Beatrice. 

Canto J/., lints 70, 71. 

54— 8»- 


Who rest suspended,^ when a dame, so blest 

And lovely I besought her to command, 

Call'd me ; her eyes were brighter than the star 

Of day; and she, with gentle voice and soft, 

Angelically tuned, her speech address'd : 

' Oh, courteous shade of Mantua I thou whose fame 

Yet lives, and shall live long as Nature lasts 1* 

A friend, not of my fortune but myself,^ 

On the wide desert in his road has met 

Hindrance so great, that he through fear has turn'd. 

Now much I dread lest he past help have stray 'd, 

And I be risen too late for his relief, 

From what in heaven of him I heard. Speed now. 

And by thy eloquent persuasive tongue, 

And by all means for his deliverance meet, 

Assist him. So to me will comfort spring. 

I, who now bid thee on this errand forth, 

Am Beatrice;* from a place I come 

Re-visited with joy. Love brought me thence. 

Who prompts my speech. When in my Master's sight 

I stand, thy praise to him I oft will tell.' 

" She then was silent, and I thus began: 
* O Lady I by whose influence alone 
Mankind excels whatever is contain'd^ 
Within that heaven which hath the smallest orb. 
So thy command delights me, that to obey, 
If it were done already, would seem late. 
No need hast thou further to speak thy will : 
Yet tell the reason, why thou art not loth 

> lyAo rest suspended.— 'V\it spirits in Limbo, neither 
admitted to a state of glory nor doomed to punish- 

' As Nature /as/s.—" Quanto 1 moto lontana." " Mon- 
do," instead of *• moto," which Lombardi claims as a 
reading peculiar to the Nidobeatina edition and some 
MSS., is also in Landino's edition of 1484. Of this 
Monti was not aware. See his " Proposta," under the 
word " Lontanare." 

• A friend, not of my fortune but myself.—'^ Se non 
fortuna; sed hominibus solere esse amicum." Cornelii 
Nepal is Atiici Vita, c ix. 

" Caetera fortunae, non mea turba, fuit." 

Ovid, Tristia, lib. i., el. 5, 34. 
" My fortune and my seeming destiny 
He made the bond, and broke it not with me." 
Coleridgis Death of XVallenstein, Act i., bc. 7. 

* Beatrice. — The daughter of Folco Portinari, who is 
here invested with the character of celestial wisdom or 
theology. See the " Life of Dante" prefi.\ed. 

' Whatever is contain d. — Every other thing comprised 
within the lunar heaven, which, being the lowest of all, 
has the smallest circle. 




To leave that ample space, where to return 
Thou burnest, for this centre here beneath.' 

" She then : ' Since thou so deeply vvouldst inquire, 
I will instruct thee briefly why no dread 
Hinders my entrance here. Those things alone 
Are to be fear'd whence evil may proceed; 
None else, for none are terrible beside. 
I am so framed by God, thanks to his grace! 
That any sufferance of your misery 
Touches me not, nor flame of that fierce fire 
Assails me. In high heaven a blessed dame^ 
Resides, who mourns with such effectual grief 
That hindrance, which I send thee to remove, 
That God's stern judgment to her will inclines. 
To Lucia^ calling, her she thus bespake : 
" Now doth thy faithful servant need thy aid, 
And I commend him to thee." At her word 
Sped Lucia, of all cruelty the foe, 
And coming to the place, where I abode 
Seated with Rachel, her of ancient days, 
She thus address'd me : " Thou true praise of God 1 
Beatrice! why is not thy succour lent 
To him, who so much loved thee, as to leave 
For thy sake all the multitude admires? 
Dost thou not hear how pitiful his wail. 
Nor mark the death, which in the torrent flood, 
Swollen mightier than a sea, him struggling holds?" 
Ne'er among men did any with such speed 
Haste to their profit, flee from their annoy. 
As, when these words were spoken, I came here, 
Down from my blessed seat, trusting the force 
Of thy pure eloquence, which thee, and all 
Who well have mark'd it, into honour brings.' 

"When she had ended, her bright beaming eyes 

' A blessed dam*. — ^The Divine Mercy. 

• Lucia. — The enlightening Grace of Heaven, as it is 
commonly explained. Uut Lombardi has well observed, 
that as our poet places her in the Paradise, c. xxxii., 

amongst the souls of the blessed, so it is probable that 
she, like Beatrice, had a real existence ; and he accord- 
ingly supposes her to have been St. Lucia the martyr,, 
although she is here representative of an abstract idea. 

117 — ^41- 



Tearful she turn'd aside ; whereat I felt 
Redoubled zeal to serve thee. As she will'd, 
Thus am I come : I saved thee from the beast, 
Who thy near way across the goodly mount 
Prevented. What is this comes o'er thee then? 
Why, why dost thou hang back ? why in thy breast 
Harbour vile fear? why hast not courage there, 
And noble daring; since three maids,* so blest, 
Thy safety plan, e'en in the court of heaven ; 
And so much certain good my words forebode?" 

As florets,^ by the frosty air of night 
Bent down and closed, when day has blanch'd their leaves, 
Rise all unfolded on their spiry stems ; 
So was my fainting vigour new restored, 
And to my heart such kindly courage ran, 
That I as one undaunted soon replied : 
"Oh, full of pity she, who undertook 
My succour! and thou kind, who didst perform 
So soon her true behest ! With such desire 
Thou hast disposed me to renew my voyage, 
That my first purpose fully is resumed. 
Lead on : one only will is in us both. 
Thou art my guide, my master thou, and lord." 

So spake I ; and when he had onward moved, 
I enter'd on the deep and woody way. 

' Three maids. — The Divine Mercy, Lucia, and Uea- 
* As florets. — 

" Come fioretto dal notturno gelo 
Chinato e chiuso. poi che il sol Timbianca, 
S'apre e si leva dritto sopra il stele." 

Boccactrio, II Filostrato, p. iii., St. 13. 

" But right as floure^i through the cold of night 
Iclosed, stoupen in her stalkes lowe, 
Redressen hem agen the sunne bright. 
And spreden iu her kinde course by rowe," &c. 

Ckauisr, Troilus and Creseide, b. iL 

It is from Hoccaccio rather than Dante that Chaucer 
has taken this simile, which he applies to Tfoilus on the 
same occasion as Boccaccio has done. He appears 
indeed to have imitated or rather paraphrased the " Filos- 
trato'' in his "Troilus and Creseide;" for it is not yet 
known who that LoUius is, from whom he professes to 
take the poem, and who is again mentioned in the " House 
of Fame," b. iii. The simile in the text has been imitated 
by many others ; among whom see Berni, " Orl. Inn.," 
lib. i., c. xii., St. 86 ; Marino, '-Aaone," c. xvii., st. 63, and 
son. " Donna vestita <li nero ; " and Spenser's " Faery 
Queen," b. iv., c xii., si. 34, and b. vi., c. ii., st 35 ; and 
Boccaccio again in the " Teseide," lib. ix., sL 28. 



Dante, foDowing Virgil, comes to the gate of Hell ; where, after having read the dreadful words that are written 
thereon, they both enter. Here, as he understands from Virgil, those were punished who had passed their time 
(for living it could not be called) in a state of apathy and indifference both to good and evil. Then pursuing 
their way, they arrive at the river Acheron ; and there find the old ferryman Charon, who takes the spirits over 
to the opposite shore ; which as soon as Dante reaches, he is seized with terror, and falls into a trance. 

" 'T^HROUGH me you pass into the city of woe: 
Through me you pass into eternal pain: 
Through me among the people lost for aye. 
Jusjice the founder of my fabric moved : 
To rear me was the task of power divine, 
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.' 
Before me things create were none, save things 
Eternal, and eternal I endure. 
All hope abandon,^ ye who enter here." 

Such characters, in colour dim, I mark'd 
Over a portal's lofty arch inscribed. 
Whereat I thus : " Master, these words import 
Hard meaning." He as one prepared replied : 
"Here thou must all distrust behind thee leave; 
Here be vile fear extinguish'd. We are come 
Where I have told thee we shall see the souls 
To misery doom'd, who intellectual good 
Have lost." And when his hand'' he had stretch'd forth 
To mine, with pleasant looks, whence I was cheer'd, 
Into that secret place he led me on. 

Here sighs,* with lamentations and loud moans, 

• Power divine, 

Siifiiemest wisdom, and primeval love. — 
The three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. 
*■ All hope abandon. — 

" Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch' entrata" 
So Berni, " Orl. Inn.," lib. i., c. viii., st. 53 : 

'* Lascia pur della vita ogni speranza." 

• And wJun his, hand. — 

" With that my hand in his he caught anone j 
On wliich I comfort caught, and went in fast.* 

Chaucer, The Assemble 0/ Foules. 
'■ Here sighs. — " Post hxc omnia ad loca tartarea, et 
aa OS inferiialis baratri deductus sum, qui simile videbatur 
puteo, loca vero eadem horridis tenebris, fsetoribus exha 

ii — ^49. 


;anto III. 


Resounded through the air pierced by no star, 

That e'en I wept at entering. Various tongues, 

Horrible languages, outcries of woe. 

Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse. 

With hands together smote that swell 'd the sounds, 

Made up a tumult, that for ever whirls 

Round through that air with solid darkness stain'd, 

Like to the sand' that in the whirlwind flies. 

I then, with error^ yet encompassed, cried, 

" Oh, master I what is this I hear ? what race 

Are these, who seem so overcome with woe ? " 

He thus to me : " This miserable fate 
Suffer the wretched souls of those who lived 
Without or praise or blame, with that ill band- 
Of angels mix'd, who nor rebellious proved. 
Nor yet were true to God, but for themselves 
Were only. From his bounds Heaven drove them forth, 
Not to impair his lustre ; nor the depth 
Of Hell receives them, lest the accursed tribe' 
Should glory thence with exultation vain." 

I then : " Master I what doth aggrieve them thus. 
That they lament so loud ? " He straight replied : 
"That will I tell thee briefly. These of death 
No hope may entertain ; and their blind life 
So meanly passes, that all other lots 
They envy. Fame* of them the world hath none, 
Nor suffers; mercy and justice scorn them both 
Speak not of them, but look, and pass them by." 

lantibus, stridoribus quoque et nimiis plena erant ejulati- 
bus, juxta qucm infernum vermis erat infinite magnitu- 
dinis, ligatus maxima catena." Alberici Visio, % 9. 
' Like to the sand. — 

" Unnumber'd as the sands 
Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, 
Levied to side with warring winds, and poise 
Their lighter wings." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, 1). ii. 903. 
' With error. — Instead of "error," Vellutello's edition 
of 1544 has "orror," a reading remarked also by Landino, 
in his notes. So much mistaken is the collator of the 
Monte Casino MS. in calling it "lezione da niuno no- 
tata," " a reading which no one has observed." 
• Ltst the accursed tribe. — Lest the rebellious angels 

should exult at seeing those who were neutial, and there- 
fore less guilty, condemned to the same punishment with 
themselves. Rossetti, in a long note on this passage, 
has ably exposed the plausible interpretation of Monti, 
who would have "alcuna gloria" mean "no glory," and 
thus make Virgil say "tliat the evil ones would derive no 
honour from the society of the neutral." A similar mis- 
take in the same word is made elsewhere by Lombardi. 
See my note on c. xii., v. 9. 
* Fame. — 

•' Cancell'd from heaven and sacred memory, 
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. vi. 38a 
"Therefore eternal silence be their doom." 

Ibid, 385. 




And I, who straightway look'd, beheld a flag,* 
Which whirling ran around so rapidly, 
That it no pause obtain'd : and following came 
Such a long train of spirits, I should ne'er 
Have thought that death so many had despoil'd. 

When some of these I recognised, I saw 
And knew the shade of him, who to base fear 
Yielding, abjured his high estate.® Forthwith 
I understood, for certain, this the tribe 
Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing 
And to his foes. These wretches, who ne'er lived, 
Went on in nakedness, and sorely stung 
By wasps and hornets, which bedew'd their cheeks 
With blood, that, mix'd with tears, dropp'd to their feet, 
And by disgustful worms was gather'd there. 

Then looking further onwards, I beheld 
A throng upon the shore of a great stream : 
Whereat I thus : " Sir I grant me now to know 
Whom here we view, and whence impell'd they seem 
So eager to pass o'er, as I discern 
Through the blear light?"* He thus to me in few: 
"This shalt thou know, soon as our steps arrive 
Beside the woful tide of Acheron." 

Then with eyes downward cast, and fiU'd with shame, 
Fearing my words offensive to his ear, 
Till we had reach'd the river, I from speech 
Abstain'd. And, lo! toward us in a bark 
Comes on an old man,* hoary white with eld, 

' A flag. — "All the grisly legions that troop 
Under the sooty flag of Acheron." 

Milton, Comtts. 
• IVko lo base /ear 

Yielding, abjured his high estate. — 

This is commonly understood of Celestine V., who ab- 
dicated the Papal power in 1294. Ve.nturi mentions a 
work written by Innocenzio Barcellini, of the Celestine 
order, and printed at Milan in 1701, in which an attempt 
is made to put a different interpretation on this passage. 
Lombard! would apply it to some one of Dante's fellow- 
citizens, who, refusing, through avarice or want of spirit, 
to support the paity of the Bianchi at Florence, had been 
the main occasion of the miseries that befell them. But 
the testimony of Faiio degli Uberti, who lived so near the 

time of our author, seems almost decisive on this point. 
He expressly speaks of the Pope Celestine as being in hell. 
See the " Dittamondo,", cap. xxi. The usual interpre- 
tation is further confirmed in a passage in canto xxvii., 
V. loi. Petrarch, while he passes a high encomium on Ce- 
lestine for his abdication of the Papal power, gives us to 
understand that there were others who thought it a dis- 
graceful act. See the "De Vita SoIit.,"b. ii., sect. iii.,c. 18. 

' Through the blear light. — " Lo fioco lume." So Fili- 
caja, canz. vi., st. 12 : " Qual fioco lume." 

* An old man. — 

" Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat 
Terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima nicnto 
Canities inculta jacet ; stant lumina fiammi." 

Virgil, /Eiieid, lib. vi. 298. 

A M. 

And, lo ! toward us in a bark 
Comes on an old man, hoary white with eld, 
Crying, " Woe to you, wicked spirits ! " 

Canto III., Knes 76-78. 

78—104. HELL. CANTO III. I5' 

Crying, " Woe to you, wicked spirits I hope not 
Ever to see the sky again. I come 
To take you to the other shore across, 
Into eternal darkness, there to dwell 
In fierce heat and in ice.^ And thou, who there 
Standest, live spirit I get thee hence, and leave 
These who are dead." But soon as he beheld 
♦ I left them not, " By other way," said he, 
" By other haven shalt thou come to shore, 
Not by this passage ; thee a nimbler boat^ 
Must carry." Then to him thus spake my guide: 
" Charon I thyself torment not : so 'tis will'd, 
Where will and power are one : ask thou no more." 

Straightway in silence fell the shaggy cheeks 
Of him, the boatman o'er the livid lake,^ 
Around whose eyes glared wheeling flames. Meanwhile 
Those spirits, faint and naked, colour changed, 
And gnash'd their teeth, soon as the cruel words 
They heard. God and their parents they blasphemed, 
The human kind, the place, the time, and seed. 
That did engender them and give them birth. 

Then all together sorely wailing drew 
To the curst strand, that every man must pass 
Who fears not God. Charon, demoniac form, 
With eyes of burning coal,* collects them all. 
Beckoning, and each, that lingers, with his oar 
Strikes. As fall off the light autumnal leaves,* 

' In fierce heat and in ice. — 

" The bitter change 
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce^ 
From beds of raging fire to starve in ice 
Their soft ethereal warmth." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ii. 601. 

" Totius ut lacAs putidaeque paludiJ. 
Lividissima, maximeque est profunda vorago." 

Catulltts, xviii. lo. 
* With eyes of burning coal. — 

" His looks were dreadful, and his fiery eyes, 
Like two great beacons, glared briglit and wide." 

" The delighted spirit j Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. vi., c. vii., st. 42. 

To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside 
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice." 

Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act iiL, sc L 
bee note to c. xxxii. 23. 

' A nimbler boat. — He perhaps alludes to the bark 
•'swift and light," in which the Angel conducts the spirits 
10 Purgatory. See " Purgatory," c. ii. 40. 
' 7)4^ //V/V/ /«/{:« —"Vadalivida." 

Virgil, /Eneid, lib. vi. 32a 

• As fall off the light autumnal leaves. — 
"Quam multa in silvis autumni frigore primo 
Lapsa cadunt folia." 

Virgil, Mneid, lib. vi. 309. 

" Thick as autumnal leaves, that strew the brooks 
In Vallonibrosa, where the Etrurian shades 
High over-arch'd embower." 

Mtlton, Paradise Lost, b. i. 304. 

Compare Apollonius Rhodius, lib. tv., p. 214. 

1 6 THE VISION. ioi-136 

One still another following, till the bough 
Strews all its honours on the earth beneath; 
E'en in like manner Adam's evil brood 
Cast themselves, one by one, down from the shore, 
Each at a beck, as falcon at his call.^ 

Thus go they over through the umber'd wave; 
And ever they on the opposing bank 
Be landed, on this side another throng 
Still gathers. " Son," thus spake the courteous guide, 
"Those who die subject to the wrath of God 
All here together come from every clime, 
And to o'erpass the river are not loth : 
For so Heaven's justice goads them on, that fear 
Is turned into desire. Hence ne'er hath past 
Good spirit. If of thee Charon complain. 
Now mayst thou know the import of his words." 

This said, the gloomy region trembling shook 
So terribly, that yet with clammy dews 
Fear chills my brow. The sad earth gave a blast. 
That, lightning, shot forth a vermilion flame. 
Which all my senses conquer'd quite, and I 
Down dropp'd, as one with sudden slumber seized. 

' A$ falcon at his call. — This is Vellutello's explanation, and seems preferable to that cominoaly piven : "as a bird 
that is enticed to the lage by the coll of another." 



The Poet, being roused by a clap of thunder, and following his guide onwards, descends into Limbo, which is the first 
circle of Hell, where \.t unds the souls of those who, although they have lived virtuously and 't-ive not to suffer for 
great sins, nevertheless, through lack of baptism, merit not the bliss of Paradise. Kence he is led on by Virgil to 
descend into the second circle. 

"DROKE the deep slumber in my brain a crash 

Of heavy thunder, that I shook myself, 
As one by main force roused. Risen upright, 
My rested eyes I moved around, and search'd. 
With fixed ken, to know what place it was 
Wherein I stood. For certain, on the brink 
I found me of the lamentable vale. 
The dread abyss, that joins a thundrous sound* 
Of plaints innumerable. Dark and deep. 
And thick with clouds o'erspread, mine eye in vain 
Explored its bottom, nor could aught discern. 

" Now let us to the blind world there beneath 
Descend;" the bard began, all pale of look: 
" I go the first, and thou shalt follow next. 

Then I, his alter'd hue perceiving, thus: 
"How may I speed, if thou yieldest to dread, 
Who still art wont to comfort me in doubt?" 

He then: "The anguish of that race below 
With pity stains my cheek, which thou for fear 
Mistakest. Let us on. Our length of way 
Urges to haste." Onward, this said, he moved; 
And entering, led me with him, on the bounds 
Of the first circle that surrounds the abyss. 

' j4 thundro'-is sound. — Imitated, as Mr. Thyer has 
remarked, by Milton, in "Paradise tost," book viii. 
tine 242 : 

" But long, ere our approaching, heard within 
Noise, other than the sound of dance or sonft 
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage." 





Here, as mine ear could note, no plaint was heard 
Except of sighs, that made the eternal air 
Tremble, not caused by tortures, but from grief 
Felt by those multitudes, many and vast, 
Of men, women, and infants. Then to me 
The gentle guide: 'Tnquirest thou not what spirits 
Are these which thou beholdest? Ere thou pass 
Farther, I would thou know, that these of sin 
Were blameless; and if aught they merited. 
It profits not, since baptism was not theirs, 
The portaP to thy faith. If they before 
The Gospel lived, they served not God aright;' 
And among such am I. For these defects, 
And for no other evil, we are lost ; 
Only so far afflicted, that we live 
Desiring without hope."^ Sore grief assail'd 
My heart at hearing this, for well I knew 
Suspended in that Limbo many a soul 
Of mighty worth. " Oh, tell me, sire revered I 
Tell me, my master!" I began, through wish 
Of full assurance in that holy faith 
Which vanquishes all error; "say, did e'er 
Any, or through his own or other's merit. 
Come forth from thence, who afterward was blest?" 

Piercing the secret purport^ of my speech. 
He answer'd : " I was new to that estate, 
When I beheld a puissant one* arrive 
Amongst us, with victorious trophy crown'd. 
He forth^ the shade of our first parent drew. 

• Porta/.—" Porta della fede." This was an alteration 
made in the text by the Academicians della Crusca, on 
the authority, as it would appear, of only two MSS.- 
The other reading is "parte della fede," "part of the 

' Desiring without hope. — 

" And with desire to languish without hope." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. 995. 

• Secret /«^<>r/.— Lombardi well observes that Dante 
seems to have been restrained by awe and reverence 
from uttering the name of Christ in this place of tor- 
ment , and that for the same cause, probably, it does not 

occur once throughout the whole of this first part of the 

* A puissant one. — Oi:r Saviour. 

• He forth.— T\\c author of the " Quadriregio" has 
introduced a sublime description into his imitation of this 
passage : 

" Pose le rcni la dove si scrra ; 

Ma Cristo lui e '1 catarcion d' acciajo 
E qucste porte allora getto a terra. 

Quando in la grotta entro '1 lucido rnjo, 
Adamo disse : Qucsto e lo splcndore 
Che mi spiro in faccia da primajo. 

Venutu se' aspettato Signore." L. ii., cap. 3, 


■ ' 






















Abel his child, and Noah righteous man, 
Of Moses lawgiver for faith approved, 
Of patriarch Abraham, and David king, 
Israel with his sire and with his sons. 
Nor without Rachel whom so hard he won, 
And others many more, whom he to bliss 
Exalted. Before these, be thou assured. 
No spirit of human kind was ever saved." 

We, while he spake, ceased not our onward road, 
Still passing through the wood ; for so I name 
Those spirits thick beset. We were not far 
On this side from the summit, when I kenn'd 
A flame, that o'er the darken'd hemisphere 
Prevailing shined. Yet we a little space 
Were distant, not so far but I in part 
Discover'd that a tribe in honour high 
That place possess'd, " Oh thou, who every art 
And science valuest I who are these, that boast 
Such honour, separate from all the rest?" 

He answer'd : " The renown of their great names, 
That echoes through your world above, acquires 
Favour in heaven, which holds them thus advanced." 
Meantime a voice I heard : " Honour the bard 
Sublime!^ his shade returns, that left us late!" 
No sooner ceased the sound, than I behehi 
Four mighty spirits toward us bend their steps, 
Of semblance neither sorrowful nor glad.^ 

When thus my master kind began : " Mark him, 
Who in his right hand bears that falchion keen, 
The other three preceding, as their lord. 
This is that Homer, of all bards supreme: 
Flaccus the next, in satire's vein excelling; 

" Satan hung writhing round the bolt ; but him, 
The huge portcullis, and those gates of brass, 
Christ threw to earth. As down the cavern stream'd 
The radiance : ' Light,' said Adam, ' this, that breathed 
First on me. Thou art come, expected Lord ! ' "' 

Much that follows is closely copied by Frezzi from our 

• Honour the bard suih'me /—" Onorate V altissimo 
poeta." So Chiabrera, " Canz. Erioche," 32 : " Onorando 
1' altissimo poeta." 

• Of semblance neither sorrowful nor glad. — 

" She nas to sober ne to glad." 

Chaucer's Dream. 



8s— ">■ 


The third is Naso ; Lucan is the last. 
Because they all that appellation own, 
With which the voice singly accosted me, 
Honouring they greet me thus, and well they judge. 

So I beheld united the bright school 
Of him the monarch of sublimest song,^ 
That o'er the others like an eagle soars. 

When they together short discourse had held, 
They turn'd to me, with salutation kind 
Beckoning me ; at the which my master smiled : 
Nor was this all ; but greater honour still 
They gave me, .for they made me of their tribe; 
And I was sixth amid so learn'd a band. 

Far as the luminous beacon on we pass'd, 
Speaking of matters, then befitting well 
To speak, now fitter left untold.^ At foot 
Of a magnificent castle we arrived, 
Seven times with lofty walls begirt, and round 
Defended by a pleasant stream. O'er this 
As o'er dry land we pass'd. Next, through seven gates, 
I with those sages enter'd, and we came 
Into a mead with lively verdure fresh. 

There dwelt a race, who slow their eyes around 
Majestically moved, and in their port 
Bore eminent authority : they spake 
Seldom, but all their words were tuneful sweet. 

We to one side retired, into a place 

' Tlie monarch of sublimest soitf;. — Homer. It ap- 
pears, from a passage in the " Convito," that there was no 
Latin translation of Homer in Dante's time. "Sappio 
ciascuno," &c., p. 20. "Every one should know that 
nothing, harmonised by musical enchainment, can be 
transmuted from one tongue into another without break- 
ing all its sweetness and harmony. And this is the 
reason why Homer has never been turned from Greek 
into Latin, as the other writers we have«oT theirs." This 
sentence, I fear, may well be regarded as conclusive 
against the present undertaking. Yet would I willingly 
bespeak for it at least so much indulgence as Politian 
claimed for himself, when in the Latin translation, which 
he afterwards made of Homer, but which has since un- 
fortunately perished, he ventured on certain liberties, 
both ol phraseology and metre, for which the nicer critics 
of his time thought fit to call him to an account : " Ego 

vero tametsi rudis in prlmis non adeo tamen obtusi sum 
pectoris in vcrsibus maxime faciundis, ut spatia ista 
morasque non sentiam. Vero cum mihi de Gneco pxne 
ad verbum forent antiquissima interpretanda carmina, 
fateor affcctavi equidcm ut in verbis obsoletam vetustalera, 
sic ill mensura ips4 et numero gratani quandam ut spcravi 
novitatem." Ep. lib. i., Baptists Guarina 
• Fitter left untold.— 

So our poet, in Canzone 14 : 

" La vide in parte chel tacere i bella" 
Ruccellai, " Le Api," 789 : 

" Ch' a dire k brutto ed a tacerlo e bello." 
And Bembo : 

"Vie piii bello 4 il tacerle, che il favellarne." 

Gli Asol., lib. I. 

A 20. 

So I beheld united the bright school 
Of him the monarch of sublimest song, 
That o'er the others like an eagle soars. 

Canto I v., lines S9-91. 

J 12— 138. 


:anto IV. 


Open, and bright, and lofty, whence each one 

Stood manifest to view. Incontinent, 

There on the green enamel' of the plain 

Were shown me the great spirits, by whose sight 

I am exalted in my own esteem. 

Electra^ there I saw accompanied 
By many, among whom Hector I knew, 
Anchiscs' pious son, and with hawk's eye 
Csesar all arm'd, and by Camilla there 
Penthesilea. On the other side. 
Old King Latinus seated by his child 
Lavinia, and that Brutus I beheld 
Who Tarquin chased, Lucretia, Cato's wife 
Marcia, with Julia^ and Cornelia there ; 
And sole apart retired, the Soldan fierce.* 

Then when a little more I raised my brow, 
I spied the master of the sapient throng,^ 

' Green enamel. — " Verde smalto." Dante here uses a 
metaphor that has since become very common in poetry. 
" o'er the smooth enamell'd green." 

Milton, Arcades. 
" Enamelling, and perhaps pictures in enamel, were 
common in the Middle Ages," &c. IVarton, History of 
English Poetry, v. i., c. xiii., p. 376. " This art flourished 
most at Limoges, in France. So early as the year 1 197, 
we h:ive diias tabulas aneas siiperauratas de labore 
Limogia. ' Chart, ann. 1 197 apud Ughelin,' torn. vii. , 
' Ital. Sacr.,' p. 1274." IVarton. Ibid. Additions to v. i. 
printed in vol. ii. Compare Walpole's "Anecdotes of 
Painting in England," vol. i., c. ii. 

' Electra. — The daughter of Atlas, and mother of 
Dardanus, the founder of Troy. See Virgil, "i4£neid," 
viii. 134, as referred to by Dante in the treatise, " De 
Monarchia," lib. ii. " Electra, scilicet, nata magni 
nominis rcKis Atlantis, ut de ambobus testimonium reddit 
poeta noster in ocUvo, ubi yEneas ad Evandrum sic ait. 
'Dardanus Iliaca:,' " &c. 

' ynlia.— The daughter of Julius Csesar, and wife of 

* T/ie Soldan fierce. — Saladin, or Salaheddin, the rival 
of Richard Cceur de Lion. See D'Herbelot, " Bibl. 
Orient. ; " the " Life of Saladin," by Bohao'edin Ebn 
Shednd, published by Albert Schultens, with a Latin 
translation ; and KnoUes's " History of the Turks," p. 
57 to 73. " About this time (i 193) died the great Sultan 
Saladin, the greatest terror of the Christians, who, mind- 
ful of man's fragility, and the vanity of worldly honours, 
commanded, at the time of his death, no solemnity to be 
used at his burial ; but only his shirt, in manner of an 
ensign, made fast unto the point of a lance, to be carried 
before his dead body as an ensign, a plain priest going 
before, and crying aloud unto the people in this sort : 

' Saladin, Conqueror of the East, of all the greatness and 
riches he had in his life, carrieth not with him anything 
more than his shirt.' A sight worthy so great a king, as 
wanted nothing to his eternal commendation more than 
the true knowledge of his salvation in Christ Jesus. He 
reigned about sixteen years with great honour." He is 
introduced by Petrarch in the "Triumph of Fame," c. ii. \ 
and by Boccaccio in the " Decameron," G. x., N. 9. 

' The master 0/ the sapient throng. — " Maestro di color 
che sanno." Aristotle. Petrarch assigns the first place 
to Plato. See " Triumph of Fame," c. iiL 

" Volsimi da man manca, e vidi Plato 

Che 'n quella schiera ando piu presso al segno 
A qual aggiunge, a chi dal cielo i dato. 
Aristotile poi pien d' alto ingcgno." 

Pulci, in his " Morgante Maggiore," c. xviii., says : 

" Tu se' il maestro di color che sanno." 

The reverence in which the Stagirite was held by our 
author cannot be better shown than by a passage in his 
" Convito," p. 142 : " Che Aristotile sia degnissimo," &c 
" That Aristotle is most worthy of trust and obedience, 
may be thus proved. Amongst the workmen or artificers 
of different arts and operations, which are in order to 
some final art or operation, he who is the artist or 
operator in that ought chiefly to be obeyed and trusted 
by the rest, as being the one who alone considers the 
ultimate end of all the other ends. Thus, he who exer- 
cises the occupation of a knight ought to be obeyed by 
the sword-cutlcr, the bridle-maker, the armourer, and by 
all those trades which are in order to the occupation of a 
knight. And because all human operations respect a 
certain end, which is that of human life, to which man, 
inasmuch as he is man, is ordained, the master or artist, 
who considers of and teaches us that, ought chiefly to be 



129— 14S. 

Seated amid the philosophic train. 
Him all admire, all pay him reverence dua 
There Socrates and Plato both I mark'd 
Nearest to him in rank, Democritus, 
Who sets the world at chance,' Diogenes, 
With Heraclitus, and Empedocles, 
And Anaxagoras, and Thales sage, 
Zeno, and Dioscorides well read 
In Nature's secret lore. Orpheus I mark'd 
And Linus, Tully and moral Seneca, 
Euclid and Ptolemy, Hippocrates, 
Galenus, Avicen,^ and him who made 
That commentary vast, Averroes.^ 

Of all to speak at full were vain attempt ; 
For my wide theme so urges, that ofttimes 
My words fall short of what bechanced. In two 
The six associates part. Another way 
My sage guide leads me, from that air serene. 
Into a climate ever vex'd with storms: 
And to a part I come, where no light shines. 

obeyed and trusted. Now this is no other than Aristotle ; 
and he is therefore the most deserving of trust and 

' Demoailus, who sels the world at chance. — Demo- 
critus, who maintained the world to have been formed 
by the fortuitous concourse of atoms. 

» Avicen.—Sts D'Herbelot, " Bibl. Orient.," article 
" Sina." He died in lojo. Pulci here again imitates our 


"Avicenna quel che il sentimento 
Intese di Aristotile e i segreti, 
Averrois che fece il gran coniento." 

Morgante Maggiore, c. kxv. 

Chaucer, in the Prologue to the " Canterbury Tales," 
makes the Doctour of Phisike familiar with 

" Avicen, 
" Sguarda Avicenna mio con tre corona, 

Ch' egli fil Prence, e di scienza pieno, 
E ulil tanto all' umane persone." 

Frezzi, II Qicadiiregio, 1. iv., cap. 9. 

"Fuit Avicenna vir summi ingenii, magnus Philosoplius, 
excellens mcdicus, et summus apud suos Theologus." 
Sebastian Scheflcr, Introd. in " Artem Medicam," p. 63, 
as quoted in the " Historical Observations on the Quadri- 
regio." Ediz. 1725. 

• Him who made Ihat commentary vast, Averroes. — 

"11 gran Platonc, e 1' altro che sU attento 

Mi rando il cielo, e sta a liii a lato 
Averrois, che fece il gran comeiito." 

Frezzi, II Quadriregio, 1. iv., cap. 9. 

Averroes, called by the Arabians Roschd, translated 
and commented the works of Aristotle. According to 
Tiraboschi (" Storia della Lett, Ital.," t. v.,1. ii., c. ii., § 4) 
he was the source of modern philosophical impiety. 
The critic quotes some passages from Petrarch ("Senil.," 
L v., ep. iii., et "Oper.," v. ii., p. 1 143) to show how strongly 
sucli sentiments prevailed in the time of that poet, by 
whom they were held in horror and detestation. He 
adds, that this fanatic admirer of Aristotle translated his 
writings with that felicity which might be expected from 
one who did "not know a syllable of Greek, and who was 
therefore compelled to avail himself of the unfaithful 
Arabic versions. U'Hcrbelot, on the other hand, in- 
f irm.s us that " Averroes was the first who translated 
Aristotle from Greek into Arabic, before the Jews had 
made their translation ; and that we had for a long 
time no other text of Aristotle except that of the Latin 
translation, which was made from this Arabic version of 
this great philosopher (Averroes), who afterwards added 
to it a very ample commentary, of which Thomas Aquinas, 
and the other scholastic writers, availed themselves, be- 
fore the Greek originals of Aristotle and his commenta- 
tors were known to us in Europe." According to D'Her- 
belot, he died in 1 198; but Tiraboschi places that event 
about 1206. 





Coming into the second circle of Hell, Dante at the entrance beholds Minos the Infernal Judge, by whom be is 
admonished to beware how he enters those regions. Here he witnesses the punishment of carnal sinners, who 
are tost about ceaselessly in the dark air by the most furious winds. Amongst these, he meets with Francesca of 
Rimini, through pity at whose sad tale he falls fainting to the ground. 

T^ROM the first circle^ I descended thus 

Down to the second, which, a lesser space 
Embracing, so much more of grief contains, 
Provoking bitter moans. There Minos stands, 
Grinning with ghastly feature;- he, of all 
Who enter, strict examining the crimes, 
Gives sentence, and dismisses them beneath, 
According as he foldeth him around : 
For when before him comes the ill-fated soul, 
It all confesses ; and that judge severe 
Of sins, considering what place in hell 
Suits the transgression, with his tail so oft 
Himself encircles, as degrees beneath 
He dooms it to descend. Before him stand 
Alway a numerous throng ; and in his turn 
Each one to judgment passing, speaks, and hears 
His fate, thence downward to his dwelling hurl'd. 

" Oh thou ! who to this residence of woe 
Approachest I •" when he saw me coming, cried 
Minos, relinquishing his dread employ, 
" Look how thou enter here ; beware in whom 
Thou place thy trust ; let not the entrance broad 

' From the first circk. — Chiabrera's twenty-first sonnet 
is on a painting, by Cesare Corte, from this canto. Mr. 
Fuseli, a much greater name, has lately employed his 
wonder-working pencil on the same subject. 

• Grinning with ghastly feature.— Hence Milton : 
« Death 
Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile. 

Paradise Lost. b. ii. 84 5 



«3— S* 

Deceive thee to thy harm." To him my ^ide: 

"Wherefore exclaimest? Hinder not his way 

By destiny appointed ; so 'tis will'd, 

Where will and power are one. Ask thou no more.* 

Now 'gin the rueful wai lings to be heard. 
Now am I come where many a plaining voice 
Smites on mine ear. Into a place I came 
Where light was silent all. Bellowing there groan 
A noise, as of a sea in tempest torn 
By warring winds. The stormy blast of hell 
With restless fury drives the spirits on, 
Whirl'd round, and dash'd amain with sore annoy. 
When they arrive before the ruinous sweep. 
There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans, 
And blasphemies 'gainst the good Power in heaven. 

I understood, that to this torment sad 
The carnal sinners are condemn'd, in whom 
Reason by lust is sway'd. As in large troops 
And multitudinous, when winter reigns, 
The starlings on their wings are borne abroad ; 
So bears the tyrannous gust those evil souls. 
On this side and on that, above, below, . 
It drives them : hope of rest to solace them , 
Is none nor e'en of milder pang. As cranes. 
Chanting their dolorous notes,' traverse the sky, 
Stretch'd out in long array ; so I beheld 
Spirits, who came loud wailing, hurried on 
By their dire doom. Then I : " Instructor I who 
Are these, by the black air so scourged?" — "The first 
'Mong those, of whom thou question'st," he replied, 
" O'er many tongues was empress. She in vice 
Of luxury was so shameless, that she made 

• As cranes, ekanting their dolorous notes. — This simile 
is imitated by Lorenzo de' Medici, in his " Ambra," a 
poem, first published by Mr. Roscoc, in the Appendix to 
his " Life of Lorenzo : " 

" Marking the tracts of air, tlie clamorous cranes 
Wheel tlieir due flight in varied ranks descried ; 

And each with outstretch'd neck his rank maintains, ' 
In roarshall'd order through the ethereal void." 

Roscoe, V. i., c. v., p. 257, 4to edit. 

Compare Homer, " Iliad," iii. 3 ; Virgil, " /Eneid," I. x. 
264 ; Oppian, " Halieut.," lib. i. 620 ; Ruccellai, " Le 
Api," 942 ; and Dante's " Purgatory," xxiv. 63. 

p. 24. 

The stormy blast of hell 
With restless fury drives the spirits on. 

Canto V. , lines yi, 33. 




Liking^ be lawful by promulged decree, 

To clear the blame she had herself incurr'd. 

This is Semiramis, of whom 'tis writ, 

That she succeeded Ninus her espoused ;* 

And held the land, which now the Soldan rules. 

The next in amorous fury slew herself, 

And to Sicheus' ashes broke her faith: 

Then follows Cleopatra, lustful queen." 

There mark'd I Helen, for whose sake so long 
The time was fraught with evil ; there the great 
Achilles, who with love fought to the end. 
Paris I saw, and Tristan ; and beside, 
A thousand more he show'd me, and by name 
Pointed them out, whom love bereaved of life. 

When I had heard my sage instructor name 
Those dames and knights of antique days, o'erpower'd 
By pity, well-nigh in amaze my mind 
Was lost ; and I began: "Bard! willingly 
I would address those two together coming, 
Which seem so light before the wind." He thus: 
*' Note thou, when nearer they to us approach. 
Then by that love which carries them along. 
Entreat ; and they will come." Soon as the wind 
Sway'd them toward us. I thus framed my speech : 
*' Oh, wearied spirits 1 come, and hold discourse 
With us, if by none else restram'd." As doves 
By fond desire invited, on wide wings 
And firm, to their sweet nest returning home, 
Cleave the air, wafted by their will along ; 
Thus issued, from that troop where Dido ranks, 

• liking. — * His lustes were as law in his degree." 

Chaucer, Moitke's Tale. Nero. 
' That she succeeded Ninus her espoused.— 
" Che succedette a Nino e fu sua sposa." 
M. Artaud, in his "Histoire de Dante," p. 589, mentions 
a manuscript work called " Attacanti's. Quadragesimale 
de reditu peccatoris ad Deum," in which the line is thus 

" Che sugger delte a Nino e fu sua sposa." 
" Who suckled Ninus, and was his wife." 
This renuirkable reading had been before noticed by Fe- 

derici : " Intorno ad alcune varianti nel testo della 'Di- 
vina Commedia.' Edit. Milan, 1836." See the "Biblio- 
teca Italiana," torn. 82, p. 282. It appears from the 
treatise " De Monarchia " (1. ii.) that Dante derived his 
knowledge of Assyrian history from his favourite author 
Orosius (1. i., c. iv.), who relates that Semiramis both suc- 
ceeded Ninus through the artifice of personating her son, 
and that she committed incest with her son ; but as the 
name of her husband Ninus only is there recorded, and 
as other historians call the son Ninias, it is probable 
that the common reading is right. 




They, through the ill air speeding : with such force 
My cry prevail'd, by strong affection urged. 

" Oh, gracious creature and benign I who go'st 
Visiting, through this element obscure,' 
Us, who the world with bloody stain imbrued ; 
If, for a friend, the King of all, we own'd. 
Our prayer to him should for thy peace arise, 
Since thou hast pity on our evil plight. 
Of whatsoe'er to hear or to discourse 
It pleases thee, that will we hear, of that 
Freely with thee discourse, while e'er the wind. 
As now, is mute. The land,^ that gave me birth, 
Is situate on the coast, where Po descends 
To rest in ocean with his sequent streams. 

" Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt,' 
Entangled him by that fair form, from me 
Ta'en in such cruel sort, as grieves me still : 
Love, that denial takes from none beloved,* 
Caught me with pleasing him so passing well, 
That, as thou seest, he yet deserts me not. 
Love brought us to one death : Cama^ waits 
The soul, who spilt our life." Such were their words; 
At hearing which, downward I bent my looks. 
And held them there so long, that the bard cried : 
" What art thou pondering?" I in answer thus: 

' Element obscure. — " L'aer perso." Much is said by 
the commentators concerning the exact sense of the word 
"perso." It cannot be explained in clearer terms than 
those used by Uante himself in his " Convito :" " II perso 
i un colore misto di purpureo e nero, ma vince il nero," 
p. 185. " It is a colour mixed of purple and black, but 
the black prevails." The word recurs several times in 
this poem. Chaucer also uses it, in the Prologue to the 
" Canterbury Tales," Uoctour of Phisiko : 

"In sanguin and in pprse he clad was alle." 

' The land. — Ravenna. 

• Love, thai in j;entle heart is quichly learnt. — 
" Amor, ch'al cor gentil ratto s'apprcnde." 
A line taken by Marino, " Adone," c. cxli., St. 251. 
That the i.'iader of the original may not be misled as to 
the exact s»'nse of the word " s'apprende," which I have 
rendered "is ieamt," it may be right to apprise him that 
it signifies "is taught," and that it is a metaphor from a 
thing taking fire. Thus it is used by Guido Guinicelli, 

whom indeed our poet seems here to have had in 
view : 

" Fuoco d'Amore in gentil cor s'apprende. 
Come vertute in pietra preziosa." 
Sonetti,(fc.,didiversiAntichi Toscani. Edis. Giunti, 
1527, 1. ix., p. 107. 

" The fire of love in gentle heart is caught. 
As virtue in the precious stone." 

* Love, that denial takes from none beloved.^ 

" Amor ch' a null' amato amar perdona." 
So Boccaccio, in his " Filocopo," I. I : 

" Amore, mai non perdono I'amore a nullo amato." 
And Pulci, in the " Morgante Maggiore," c. iv. : 

" E perchu amor mal volontier perdona, 
Che non sia al fin sempre amato clii ama." 
Indeed, many of the Italian poets have repeated this 

* Calna. — The place to which murderers are doomed. 











:anto V. 


" Alas ! by what sweet thoughts, what fond desire 
Must they at length to that ill pass have reach 'd ! " 
Then turning, I to them my speech address'd. 
And thus began : " Francesca l^ your sad fate 
Even to tears my grief and pity moves. 
But tell me ; in the time of your sweet sighs, 
By what, and how Love granted, that ye knew 
Your yet uncertain wishes?" She replied: 
" No greater grief than to remember days 
Of joy, when misery is at hand,*^ That kens 
Thy learn'd instructor. Yet so eagerly 
If thou art bent to know the primal root. 
From whence our love gat being, I will do 
As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day, 
For our delight we read of Lancelot,^ 
How him love thrall 'd. Alone we were, and no 
Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading 
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue 
Fled from our alter'd cheek. But at one point* 
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read, 
The wished smile so rapturously kiss'd 

' Francesca. — Francesca, daughter of Guldo da Polenta, 
lord of Ravenna, was given by her father in marriage to 
Lanciotto, son of Malatesta, lord of Rimini, a man of 
extraordinary courage, but deformed in his person. His 
brother Paolo, who unhappily possessed those graces 
which the husband of Francesca wanted, engaged her 
affections ; and being taken in adultery, they were both 
put to death by the enraged Lanciotto. See Notes to 
canto xxvii., vs. 38 and 43. Troya relates that they were 
buried together ; and that three centuries after, the bodies 
were found at Rimini, whither they had been removed 
from Pesaro, with the silken garments yet fresh. — " Veltro 
Allegorico di Dante," -Ediz. 1826, p. 33. The whole of 
this passage is alluded to by Petrarch, in his " Triumph of 
Love," c. iii. : 

" Ecco quei che le carte empion di sogni 
Lancilolto Tristano e gli altri erranti: 
Onde convien che '1 vulgo errantc aKogni} 
Vedi Gincvra, Isotta e Taltre amanli ; 
E la coppia d'Arimino che 'nsieme 
Vanno facendo dolorosi pianti." 

Mr. Leigh Hunt has expanded the present episode into a 
beautiful poem, in his " Story of Rimini." 

' No greater grief than to remember days 0/ joy, when 
misery is at hand. — Imitated by Chaucer : 

" For of Fortunis sharp adversite 
The worste kind of infortune is this, 
A man to have been in prosper! te, 
And it remembir when it passid is." 

Troilus and Creseide, b. iii. 
By Marino : 

" Che non ha doglia il misero maggiore, 
Che ricordar la gioia entro il dolore." 

Adone, c. xiv., St. too. 
And by Fortiguerra : 

" Rimembrare il ben perduto 
Fa piil meschino lo presente stato." 

Ricciaidctto, c. xi., st. 83. 

The original, perhaps, was in Boetius, " De Consolatione 
Philosophise:" "In omni adversitate forlunas infelicis- 
simum genus est infortunii fuisse felicem et non esse," 
1. 2, pr. 4. Boetius, and Cicero, " De Amicitia," were the 
two first books that engaged the attention of Dante, as he 
himself tells us in the " Convito," p. 68. 

' Lancelot. — One of the Knights of the Round Table, 
and the lover of Ginevra, or Guinever, celebrated in 
romance. The incident alluded to seems to have made a 
strong impression on the imagination of Dante, who in- 
troduces it again in the " Paradise," canto xvi. 

* At one point. — " Questo quel punto fu, che sol mi 
vinse." Tasso, II Torrismondo, a. i., s. 3. 




By one so deep in love, then he, who ne'er 
FVom me shall separate, at once my lips 
All trembling kiss'd. The book and writer both 
Were love's purveyors. In its leaves that day 
We read no more."' While thus one spirit spake, 
The other wail'd so sorely, that heart-struck 
I, through compassion fainting, seem'd not far 
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground.* 

> Tn its leaves ihit day we read no OT<?r^— Nothing 
can exceed the delicacy with which Francesca in these 
words intimates her guilt. 

• And like a corse fell to the grcvwL— 

" E caddi, come corpo morto cade." 

" E cadde, come morto in terra cade." 
And Ariosto : Morgante Maggiore, c. «ii. 

" E cada, come corpo morto cade." 

Orlando Furiose, c. ii., St. 55. 
"And when I saw him, I fell at liis feet as dead," 
Rev. i. 17. 

A 28. 

In its leaves that day 
We read no more. 

Canio v., lines 134, 135. 

p. 28. 

I, through compassion fainting, seem'd not far 
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground. 

Canto v., lines lyj, 138. 



On his recovery, the poet finds himself in the third circle, where the gluttonous are punished. Their torment is, to lie 
in the mire, under a continual and heavy storm of hail, snow, and discoloured water ; Cerberus meanwhile barking 
over them with his threefold throat, and rending them piecemeal. One of these, who on earth was named Ciacco, 
foretells the divisions with which Florence is about to be distracted. Dante proposes a question to his g-dide, who 
solves it ; and they proceed towards the fourth circle. 

A /TY sense reviving,^ that erewhile had droop'd 

With pity for the kindred shades, whence grief 
O'ercame me wholly, straight around I see 
New torments, new tormented souls, which way 
Soe'er I move, or turn, or bend my sight. 
In the third circle I arrive, of showers 
Ceaseless, accursed, heavy and cold, unchanged 
For ever, both in kind and in degree. 
Large hail, discolour'd water, sleety flaw 
Through the dun midnight air stream'd down amain : 
Stank all the land whereon that tempest fell. 

Cerberus, cruel monster, fierce and strange, 
Through his wide threefold throat, barks as a dog 
Over the multitude immersed beneath. 
His eyes glare crimson, black his unctuous beard. 
His belly large, and claw'd the hands, with which 
He tears the spirits, flays them, and their limbs 
Piecemeal disparts. Howling there spread, as curs, 
Under the rainy deluge, with one side 
The other screening, oft they roll them round, 
A wretched, godless crew. When that great worm* 

' 3fy sense reviving. — 

" Al tornar della mente, che si chiuse^ 
Dinanzi alia pieta de' duo cognati." 
Bern! has made a sportive application of these lines, in 
his "Orl. Inn," lib. iii., c. viii., sL I. 

infinita; magnitudinis ligatus maxim^ catenii."-- ylflerict 
Visio, § 9. In canto xxxiv. Lucifer is called 

" The abhorred worm, that boreth through the world." 

This is imitated by Ariosto, "Orlando Kiirioso," c. xlvi.. 

St. 76. Shakespeare, Milton, and Cowper, who well 

' That great worm.—" Juxta— infemum vermis erat understood that the most common words are often the 




Descried us, savage Cerberus, he oped 

His jaws, and the fangs shovv'd us ; not a limb 

Of him but trembled. Then my guide, his palms 

Expanding on the ground, thence fill'd with earth 

Raised them, and cast it in his ravenous maw. 

E'en as a dog, that yelling bays for food 

His keeper, when the morsel comes, lets fall 

His fury, bent alone with eager haste 

To swallow it ; so dropp'd the loathsome cheeks 

Of demon Cerberus, who thundering stuns 

The spirits, that they for deafness wish in vain. 

We, o'er the shades thrown prostrate by the brunt 
Of the heavy tempest passing, set our feet 
Upon their emptiness, that substance seem'd. 

They all along the earth extended lay, 
Save one, that sudden raised himself to sit. 
Soon as that way he saw us pass. "Oh, thou!" 
He cried, " who through the infernal shades art led, 
Own, if again thou know'st me. Thou wast framed 
Or ere my frame was broken." I replied : 
" The anguish thou endurest perchance so takes 
Thy form from my remembrance, that it seems 
As if I saw thee never. But inform 
Me who thou art, that in a place so sad 
Art set, and in such torment, that although 
Other be greater, none disgusteth more." 
He thus in answer to my words rejoin'd . 
** Thy city, heap'd with, envy to the brim, \ 
Aye, that the measure overflows its bounds, ^ 
Held me in brighter days. Ye citizens 
Were wont to name me Ciacco.' For the sin 
Of gluttony, damned vice, beneath this rain, 
E'en as thou seest, I with fatigue am worn: 

most impressive, have used the synonymous term in our 
language with good effect ; as Pindar has done in Greek : 
AwA Tavyirov fttp Aaxatvav 
iiri ^ftai giiVa rpexeiv trvKiruraTov iprtrov." 
Heyne's Pindar, Fiaipn. Epinic, ii. 2- in Hieron. 

' Ye citizens were wont to name me Ciacco. — So called 
from his inordinate appetite ; ««<:r<7, in Italian, signifying 
a pig. The real name of this glutton has not been 
transmitted to us. He is introduced in Boccaccio's 
" Decameron," Giorn. ix., Nov. 8. 






E It 

ri is 



E "o 

c 3 

o o 

f- w 












j3 in .a 












■s c 

H < 3; 

SS-79- HELL. — CANTO VI. 9j 

Nor I sole spirit in this woe : all these 
Have by like crime incurr'd like punishment." 

No more he said, and I my speech resumed: 
" Ciacco ! thy dire affliction grieves me much, 
Even to tears. But tell me, if thou know'st, 
What shall at length befall the citizens 
Of the divided city;^ whether any 
^ Just one inhabit there: and tell the cause 
Whence jarring Discord hath assail'd it thus." 

He then : " After long striving they will come 
To blood ; and the wild party from the woods '^ 
Will chase the other^ with much injury forth. 
Then it behoves that this must fall,* within 
Three solar circles ;^ and the other rise 
By borrow'd force of one, who under shore 
Now rests.^ It shall a long space hold aloof 
Its forehead, keeping under heavy weight 
The other opprest, indignant at the load, 
And grieving sore. The just are two in number,^ 
But they neglected. Avarice, envy, pride,* 
Three fatal sparks, have set the hearts of all 
On fire." Here ceased the lamentable sound ; 
And I continued thus : " Still would I learn 
More from thee, further parley still entreat. 
Of Farinata and Tegghiaio'' say, 

' The divided city. — The city of Florence, divided into 
the Hianchi and Neri factions. 

' The wild party from the woods. — So called because 
it was headed by Veri de' Cerchi, whose family had lately 
come into the city from Acone, and the woody coui;fry of 

Bardiiccio and Giovanni Vespignano, adducing the follow- 
ing passage from Villani in support of their opinion : 
" In the year 1331 died in Florence two just and good 
men, of holy life and conversation, and bountiful in alms- 
giving, althouy;h laymen. The one was named JJarduccio, 

the \'al di Nievole. j and was buried in S. Spirito, in the place o^ the Frati 

• The other. — The opposite party of the Neri, at the I Romitani ; the other, named Giovanni da Vespignano, 
head of which was Corso Donati. 1 was buried in S. Pietro Maggiore. And by each God 

• 'I his must fall. — The Bianchi. showed open miracles, in healing the sick and lunatic 

• Three solar circles. — Three years. I after divers manners ; and for each there was ordained a 

• Of one, who under shore now rests. — Charles of ' solemn funeral, and many images of wax set up in dis- 

Valois, by whose means the Neri were repliiced. 

' The just are two in number. — Who these two were 
the commentators are not agreed. Some understand them 
to be Dante himself and his friend Guido Cavalcanti. But 
this would argue a presumption, which- our poet himself 
elsewhere contradicts ; for, in the " Purgatory," he owns his 
consciousness of not being exempted from one at least of 
" the three fatal sparks, which had set the hearts of all on 
fire" (see canto xiii. 126I. Others refer the encomium to 

charge of vows that had been made." — G, Villani, Ub. x., 
cap. clxxix 
» Avarice, envy, pride. — 

" Invidia, superbia ed avarizia 

Vedea moltiplicar tra miei figliuoli." 
Fazio degli Uberti, Dittamondo, lib. i., cap. xxix. 

■ • Of Farinata and Tegghiaio. — See canto x. and Notes, 
and canto xvi. and Notes. 



80— II<X 

They who so well deserved ; of Giacopo,' 

Arrigo, Mosca,- and the rest, who bent 

Their minds on working good. Oh I tell me where 

They bide, and to their knowledge let me come. 

For I am prest with keen desire to hear 

If heaven's sweet cup, or poisonous drug of hell, 

Be to their lip assign'd." He answer'd straight: 

"These are yet blacker spirits. Various crimes 

Have sunk them deeper in the dark abyss. 

If thou so far descendest, thou may'st see them. 

But to the pleasant world, when thou return'st, 

Of me make mention, I entreat thee, there. 

No more I tell thee, answer thee no more." 

This said, his fixed eyes he turn'd askance, 
A little eyed me, then bent down his head, 
And 'midst his blind companions with it fell. 

When thus my guide : " No more his bed he leaves, 
Ere the last angel-trumpet blow. The Power 
Adverse to these shall then in glory come, 
Each one forthwith to his sad tomb repair, 
Resume' his fleshly vesture and his form, 
And hear the eternal doom re-echoing rend 
The vault." So pass'd we through that mixture foul 
Of spirits and rain, with tardy steps; meanwhile 
Touching,* though slightly, on the life to come. 
For thus I question'd : " Shall these tortures, sir, 
When the great sentence passes, be increased, 
Or mitigated, or as now severe?" 

He then: "Consult thy knowledge;* that decides, 
That, as each thing to more perfection grows, 
It feels more sensibly both good and pain. 

• Giacopo. — Giacopo Rusticucci. See canto xvi. 

• Arrigo, Mosca.— 0{ Arrigo no mention afterwards 
occurs. Mosca degli Uberti is introduced in canto xxyiii. 

» Resume. — Imitated by Frczzi: 

" Allor ripiglieran la carne e I'ossa j 

Li rei oscuri, e i buon con splendori 
Per la virtu della divina possa." 

// Quadriregio, lib. iv., cap. xv. 

* Touching. — Conversing, though in a slight and super- 
ficial manner, on the life to come. 

' Consult thy knowledge. — We are referred to the fol- 
lowing passage in St. Augustine : " Cum fiet resurrectio 
carnis, et bonorum gaudia et malorum tormenta majora 
erunt." "At the resurrection of tlie flesh, both the happi- 
ness of the good and the torments of the wicked will be 

"'-"?. HELL. CANTO VI. 33 

Though ne'er to true perfection may arrive 
This race accurst, yet nearer then, than now, 
They shall approach it." Compassing that path, 
Circuitous we journey 'd ; and discourse. 
Much more than I relate, between us pass'd: 
Till at the point, whence the steps led below, 
Arrived, there Plutus, the great foe, we found. 




In the present canto Dante describes his descent into the fourth circle, at the beginning of which he sees Plutus 
stationed. Here one like doom awaits the prodigal and the avaricious ; which is, to meet in direful conflict, rolling 
great weights against each other with mutual upbraidings. From hence Virgil takes occasion to show how vain the 
goods that are committed into the charge of Fortune ; and this moves our author to inquire what being that Fortune 
is, of whom he speaks : which question being resolved, they go down into the fifth circle, where they find the 
wrathful and gloomy tormented in the Stygian lake. Having made a compass round great part of this lake, they 
come at last to the base of a lofty tower. 

" A H me! O Satan I Satan !"^ loud exclaim'd 

Plutus, in accent hoarse of wild alarm : 
And the kind sage, whom no event surprised, 
To comfort me thus spake : " Let not thy fear 
Harm thee, for power in him, be sure, is none 
To hinder down this rock thy safe descent." 
Then to that swollen lip turning, " Peace 1" he cried, 
"Curst wolf I thy fury inward on thyself 
Prey, and consume thee I Through the dark profound. 
Not without cause, he passes. So 'tis will'd 
On high, there where the great Archangel pour'd 
Heaven's vengeance on the first adulterer proud."* 

As sails, full spread and bellying with the wind. 
Drop suddenly collapsed, if the mast split ; 
So to the ground down dropp'd the cruel fiend. 

• Ah me! O Satan.' 5'rt/(?«/— "Pape Satan, Pape S.itan, 
aleppe." Pape is said by the commentators to be the same 
as the Latin word puptt, " strange !" 0( aleppe they do 
not give a more satisfactory account. See the " Life of 
Benvcnuto Cellini," translated by Dr. Nugent, v. ii., b. iii., 
c. vii., p. 113, where he mentions "having heard the 
words Paix, paix, Satan ! alUz, paix! in the courts of 
justice at Paris. I recollected what Dante said, when he 
with his m.aster Virgii entered the gates of hell : for 
Dante, and Giotto the painter, were together in France, 
and visited Paris with particular attention, wlicre the 
court of justice m.iy be considered as heU. Hence it is 
that Dante, who was likewise perfect master of the 

French, made use of that expression ; and I have often 
been surprised that it was never understood in that 

' The first adulterer proitii. — Satan. The word 
"fornication," or "adultery," "strupo," is here used for 
a revolt of the affections from God, according to the sense 
in which it is often applied in Scripture. Dut Monti, 
following Gr.issi's " Essay on Synonymes," supposes 
"strupo" to mean "troop;" the word strup being still 
used in the Piedmontese dialect for " a flock of sheep," 
and answering to troupeau in French. In that case, 
" superbo strupo " would signify " the troop of rebel 
angels who sinned through pride." 











Thus we, descending to the fourth steep ledge, 
Gain'd on the dismal shore, that all the woe 
Hems in of all the universe. Ah me 1 
Almighty Justice ! in what store thou heap'st 
New pains, new troubles,' as I here beheld. 
Wherefore doth fault of ours bring us to this? 

E'en as a billow,^ on Charybdis rising, 
Against encounter'd billow dashing breaks ; 
Such is the dance this wretched race must lead, 
Whom more than elsewhere numerous here I found 
From one side and the other, with loud voice, 
Both roH'd on weights, by main force of their breasts, 
Then smote together, and each one forthwith 
Roll'd them back voluble, turning again ; 
Exclaiming these, " Why holdest thou so fast ?" 
Those answering, "And why easiest thou away?" 
So, still repeating tlicir despiteful song. 
They to the opposite point, on either hand, 
Traversed the horrid circle ; then arrived. 
Both turn'd them round, and through the middle space 
Conflicting met again. At sight whereof 
I, stung with grief, thus spake : " Oh, say, my guide ! 
What race is this. Were these, whose heads are shorn, 
On our left hand, all separate to the Church ?" 

He straight replied : " In their first life, these all 
In mind were so distorted, that they made, 
According to due measure, of their wealth 
No use. This clearly from their words collect, 
Which they howl forth, at each extremity 
Arriving of the circle, where their crime 
Contrary in kind disparts them. To the Church 
Were separate those, that with no hairy cowls 

In ivhat store thou keap'st 
New fains, new trouhles. — 
Some understand " chi stipa" to mean either " who 
can imagine," or "who can describe the torments," i&c. 
I have followed Landino, whose words, thoiit;h very 
plain, seem to have been mistaken by Lombardi : " Chi 
stipa, chi accumula, ed insieme raccoglie ; quasi dica, tu 
giiuitizia aduni tanti suppUciL" 

' E'en as a billow. — 

" As when two billows in the Irish sowndes, 
Forcibly driven with contrarie tides. 
Do meet together, each aback rebounds 
With roaring rage, and dashing on all sides, 
Tliat fillcth all the sea with foam, divides 
The doubtful current into divers wayes." 

Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. iv., c. i.. st. 42. 



Are crown'd, both popes and cardinals/ o'er whom 
Avarice dominion absolute maintains." 

I then: " 'Mid such as these some needs must be, 
Whom I shall recognise, that with the blot 
Of these foul sins were stain'd." He answering thus: 
" Vain thought conceivest thou. That ignoble life, 
Which made them vile before, now makes them dark. 
And to all knowledge indiscernible. 
For ever they shall meet in this rude shock: 
These from the tomb with clenched grasp shall rise, 
Those with close-shaven locks. That ill they gave, 
And ill they kept, hath of the beauteous world 
Deprived, and set them at this strife, which needs 
No labour'd phrase of mine to set it off. 
Now mayst thou see, my son, how brief, how vain, 
The goods committed into Fortune's hands. 
For which the human race keep such a coil 1 
Not all the gold^ that is beneath the moon, 
Or ever hath been, of these toil-worn souls 
Might purchase rest for one." I thus rejoin'd: 
" My guide I of thee this also would I learn ; 
This Fortune, that thou speak'st of, what it is, 
Whose talons grasp the blessings of the world.' 

He thus : " Oh, beings blind I what ignorance 
Besets you I Now my judgment hear and mark. 
He, whose transcendent wisdom^ passes all, 
The heavens creating, gave them ruling powers 
To guide them ; so that each part shines* to each. 
Their light in equal distribution pour'd. 
By similar appointment he ordain'd, 
Over the world's bright images to rule, 


' Popes and cardinals. — Ariosto having personified 
Avarice as a strange and hideous monster, says of har— 
" Peggio facea nella Romana corte, 
Che v'avea uccisi cardinali e papi." 

Orlando Furioso, c. xxvi., st 33. 

** Worse did she in the court of Rome, for there 
She had slain popes and cardinals." 
Not all the gold — 

" Tuito Toro ch' e sotto la luna." 

" For all the gode under the colde mone." 

Chancer, Le^ende of Hypermntstra. 
• He, wtiQse transcendent -wisdom. — Compare Frezji : 
" Dio h primo prince in ogni parte 
Sempre e di tutto," &c. 

// Qiiadriregio, lib. ii., cap. iL 
' Each part shines. — Each hemisphere of the heavens 
shines upon that hemisphere of the earth which is placed 
under it. 











































Superintendence of a guiding hand 

And general minister,^ which, at due time. 

May change the empty vantages of life 

From race to race; from one to other's blood, 

Beyond prevention of man's wisest care: 

Wherefore one nation rises into sway, 

Another languishes, e'en as her will 

Decrees, from us conceal'd, as in the grass 

The serpent train. Against her nought avails 

Your utmost wisdom. She with foresight plans, 

Judges, and carries on her reign, as theirs 

The other powers divine. Her changes know 

None intermission, by necessity^ 

She is made swift, so frequent come who claim 

Succession in her favours. This is she, 

So execrated e'en by those whose debt 

To her is rather praise : they wrongfully 

With blame requite her, and with evil word; 

But she is blessed, and for that recks not : 

Amidst the other primal beings glad, 

Rolls on her sphere, and in her bliss exults. 

Now on our way pass we, to heavier woe 

Descending : for each star^ is falling now, 

That mounted at our entrance, and forbids 

Too long our tarrying." We the circle cross'd 

To the next steep, arriving at a well. 

That boiling pours itself down to a fosse 

Sluiced from its source. Far murkier was the wave 

Than sablest grain : and we in company 

Of the inky waters, journeying by their side. 

' General minister. — Lombard! cites an apposite pas- 
sage from Augustine, " De Civitate Dei," lib. v. : — " Nos 
eas causas, qua: dicuntur fortuita: (unde etiam fortuna 
nomen accepit) non dicimus nuUas, sed latentes, easque 
tribuimus, vel veri Dei, vel quorum libet spirituum 

' By necessity. — This sentiment called forth the repre- 
hension of Francesco Stabili, commonly called Cecco 
d' Ascoli, in his " Acerba," lib. i., c. i. : 

" In cio peccasti, O Fiorentin poeta, 
Ponendo che li ben delia fortuna 

Necessitati sieno con lor meta. 
Non k fortuna, cui ragion non vinca. 
Or pensa Dante, se prova nessuna 
Si puo piu fare che questa convinca." 
" Herein, oh bard of Florence, didst thou err, 
Laying it down that fortune's largesses 
Are fated to their goal. Fortune is none, 
That reason cannot conquer. Mark thou, Dante, 
If any argument may gainsay this." 
» Each stiir.— So Boccaccio : " Giu ogni Stella a cader 
comincio, che sulia."— Decameron, Giorn. 3, at the end. 




Enter'd, though by a different track,' beneath. 
Into a lake, the Stygian named, expands 
.The dismal stream, when it hath reach'd the foot 
Of the grey wither'd cliffs. Intent I stood 
To gaze, and in the marish sunk descried 
A miry tribe, all naked, and with looks 
Betokening rage. They with their hands alone 
Struck not, but with the head, the breast, the feet, 
Cutting each other piecemeal with their fangs. 

The good instructor spake : " Now seest thou, son, 
The souls of those whom anger overcame. 
This too for certain know, that underneath 
The water dwells a multitude, whose sighs 
Into these bubbles make the surface heave, 
As thine eye tells thee wheresoever it turn. 
Fix'd in the slime, they say, ' Sad once were we. 
In the sweet air made gladsome by the sun. 
Carrying a foul and lazy mist within : 
Now in these murky settlings are we sad.' 
Such dolorous strain they gurgle in their throats. 
But word distinct can utter none." Our route 
Thus compass'd we, a segment widely stretch'd 
Between the dry embankment, and the core 
Of the loath'd pool, turning meanwhile our eyes 
Downward on those who gulp'd its muddy lees ; 
Nor stopp'd, till to a tower's low base we came. 

' A different track. — " i/na via diversa." Some under- 
stand this "a strange path ;" as the word is used ir the 
preceding c:into — "fiera crudele e diversia," "monster 

fierce and strange;" and in the "Vita Nuova" — " visi 
diversi ed orribili a vedere," ''visages strange and 
horrible to see." 










































A signal having been made from the tower, Phlegyas, the ferryman of the lake, speedily crosses it, and conveys Virgil 
and ■ Dante to the other side. On their passage they meet with Filippo Argenti, whose fury and torment are 
described. They then arrive at the city of Dis, the entrance whereto is denied, and the portals closed against 
them by many demons. 

A /T Y theme pursuing,^ I relate, that ere 

We reach'd the lofty turret's base, our eyes 
Its height ascended, where we mark'd uphung 
Two cressets, and another saw from far 
Return the signal, so remote, that scarce 
The eye could catch its beam. I, turning round 
To the deep source of knowledge, thus inquired : 
" Say what this means ; and what, that other light 
In answer set: what agency doth this?" 

" There on the filthy waters," he replied, 
*' E'en now what next awaits us mayst thou see, 
If the marsh-gendered fog conceal it not." 

Never was arrow from the cord disraiss'd, 
That ran its way so nimbly through the air. 
As a small barque, that through the waves I spied 
Toward us coming, under the sole sway 
Of one that ferried it, who cried aloud, 
"Art thou arrived, fell spirit?" — "Phlegyas, Phlegyas,* 

' My theme pursuing. — It is related by some of the 
early commentators, that the seven preceding cantos wcire 
found at Florence after our poet's banishment, by some 
one who was searching over his papers, which were 
left in that city; that by this person they were taken to 
Dino Frescobaldi ; and that he, being much delighted 
with them, forwarded them to the Marchese Morello 
Malaspina, at whose entreaty the poem was resumed. 
This account, though very circumstantially related, is 
rendered improbable by the propliecy of Ciacco in the 
sixth canto, which must have been written after the events 
to which it alludes. The manner in which the present 

canto opens furnishes no proof of the truth of the report ; 
for, as Maffei remarks in his " Osservazioni Letterarie," 
torn, ii., p. 249, referred to by Lombard!, it might as well 
be affirmed that Ariosto was interrupted in his " Orlando 
Furioso," because he begins c. xvi. 

" Dico la bella storia ripigliando," 
and c. xxii. 

" Ma tornando al lavor, che vario ordisco." 

' Phlegyas. — Phlegyas, who was so incensed against 

Apollo, for having violated his daughter Coronis, that he 

set fire to the temple of that deity, by whose vengeance 

he was cast into Tartarus. See Virgil, "iEneid," 1. vi., 618. 




Tliis time thou criest in vain," my lord replied ; 

" No longer shalt thou have us, but while o'er 
. The slimy pool we pass." As one who hears 

Of some great wrong he hath sustain'd, whereat 

Inly he pines, so Phlegyas inly pined 

In his fierce ire. My guide, descending, stepp'd 

Into the skiff, and bade me enter next, 

Close at his side ; nor, till my entrance, seem'd 
The vessel freighted. Soon as both embark'd, 
Cutting the waves, goes on the ancient prow, 

More deeply than with others is its wont. 

While we- our course' o'er the dead channel held. 
One drench'd in mire before me came, and said, 
" Who art thou, that thus comest ere thine hour?" 

I answer'd, " Though I come, I tarry not : 
But who art thou, that art become so foul ?" 

" One, as thou seest, who mourn," he straight replied. 
To which I thus : " In mourning and in woe. 
Curst spirit! tarry thou. I know thee well. 
E'en thus in filth disguised." Then stretch'd he forth 
Hands to the barque ; whereof my teacher sage 
Aware, thrusting him back : " Away I down there 
To the other dogs!" then, with his arms my neck 
Encircling, kiss'd my cheek, and -jpake : "Oh soul, 
Justly disdainful ! blest was she in whom 
Thou wast conceived.^ He in the world was one 
For arrogance noted : to his memory 
No virtue lends its lustre ; even so 
Here is his shadow furious. There above, 
How many now hold themselves mighty kings, 
Who here like swine shall wallow in the mire, 
Leaving behind them horrible dispraise." 

I then : "" Master! him fain would I behold 
Whelm'd in these dregs, before we quit the lake." 

' JVMe V* our fwe/r*.— " Solcando noi per quella 
morta gora."—/'rez2i, II Qiiadriregio, lib. ii., cap. 7. 

' In whom thou wast conceived. — " Che 'n te s'incinse." 
Several of the commentators have stumbled at this word, 

which is the same as enceinte in French, and inctent in 
Latin. For many instances in which it is thus used, see 
the notes on Boccaccio's " Decameron," y.. loi, in the 
Giunti edition, 1573. 



4-1 r- « 

O > 

/• 40. 

My teacher sage 
Aware, thrusting him back : " Away ! down there 
To the other dogs!" 

Canto VJJ/., lines iff-^l. 


53— *4- HELL.- — CANTO VIIL 

He thus : " Or ever to thy view the shore 
Be offer'd, satisfied shall be that wish, 
Which well deserves completion." Scarce his words 
Were ended, when I saw the miry tribes 
Set on him with such violence, that yet 
For that render I thanks to God, and praise. 
"To Filippo Argentil"^ cried they all: 
And on himself the moody Florentine 
Turn'd his avenging fangs. Him here we left, 
Nor speak I of him more. But on mine ear 
Sudden a sound of lamentation smote, 
Whereat mine eye unbarr'd I sent abroad. 

And thus the good instructor : " Now, my son 
Draws near the city, that of Dis is named,^ 
With its grave denizens, a mighty throng." 

I thus: "The minarets already, sirl 
There, certes, in the valley I descry, 
Gleaming vermilion, as if they from fire 
Had issued." He replied : " Eternal fire, 
That inward burns, shows them with ruddy flame 
Illumed ; as in this nether hell thou seest." 

We came within the fosses deep, that moat 
This region comfortless. The walls appear'd 
As they were framed of iron. We had made 
Wide circuit, ere a place we reach'd, where loud 
The mariner cried vehement, " Go forth : 
The entrance is here." Upon the gates I spied 
More than a thousand, who of old from heaven 
Were shower'd.' With ireful gestures, "Who is this," 
They cried, " that, without death first felt, goes through 
The regions of the dead ?" My sapient guide 
Made sign that he for secret parley wish'd ; 


• Filippo Argenti. — Boccaccio tells us, " He was a man 
remarkable for the large proportions and extraordinary 
vigour of his bodily frame, and the extreme waywardness 
and irascibility of his temper." — Decameron, Giom. ix., 
Nov. 8. 

' The city, that of Dis is named. — So Ariosto, " Or- 
lando Furioso," c. xl., st 32 : 

" Fatto era un stagno piii sicuro e brutto, 
Di quel che cinge la citta di Dite." 

' From Iteaven were shower'd. — " Da ciel piovuti." 
Thus Frezzi : " Li maladetti piovuti da cielo."— // Qiiadri- 
regio, lib. iv., cap. 4. And Pulcl, in the passage cited in 
the note to canto xxi. 117. 






Whereat their angry scorn abating, thus 

They spake : " Come thou alone ; and let him go, 

Who hath so hardily enter'd this realm. 

Alone return he by his witless way; 

If well he know it, let him prove. For thee, 

Here shalt thou tarry, who through clime so dark 

Hast been his escort." Now bethink thee, reader! 

What cheer was mine at sound of those curst words. 

I did believe I never should return. 

"Oh, my loved guide I who more than seven times 
Security hast render'd me, and drawn 
From peril deep, whereto I stood exposed, 
Desert me not." I cried, " in this extreme. 
And, if our onward going be denied. 
Together trace we back our steps with speed." 

My liege, who thither had conducted me, 
Replied ; " Fear not : for of our passage none 
Hath power to disappoint us, by such high 
Authority permitted. But do thou 
Expect me here ; meanwhile, thy wearied spirit 
Comfort, and feed with kindly hope, assured 
I will not leave thee in this lower world." 

This said, departs the sire benevolent, 
And quits me. Hesitating I remain 
At war, 'twixt will and will not,'' in my thoughts, 

I could not hear what terms he offer'd them, 
But they conferr'd not long, for all at once 
PellmelP rush'd back within. Closed were the gates, 
By those our adversaries, on the breast 
Of my liege lord : excluded, he return'd 

' Sevtn times.— "The commentators," says Venturi, 
" perplex themselves with the inquiry what seven perils 
these were from which Dante had been delivered by 
Virgil. Reckoning the beasts in the first canto as one of 
them, and adding Charon, Minos, Cerberus, Plutus, 
Phlegyas, and Filippo Argenti, as so many others, we 
stall have the number ; and if this be not satisfactory, 
we may suppose a determinate to have been put for an 
indetermincite number." 

* At war, 'twixt will and will not.—" Che si, e nd 

nel capo m.: tenzona." Thus our poet in his eighth 
canzone : 

" Ch' il si, e'l no tututto In vostra mano 
Ha posto amore." 
And Boccaccio, "Ninf. Fiesol.," st. 233: "II si e il nd 
ncl capo gli contende." The words I have adopted are 
Shakespeare's, " Measure for Measure,'' Act ii., sc. i. 

* Pellmell.—" A pruo\&." " Certatim." "Al'envi.' 
I had before translated " To trial ;" and have to thank 
Mr. Carlyle for detecting the error. 







2 tfl 

4-> -O 
C -u 




115— 12& 




To me with tardy steps. Upon the ground 
His eyes were bent, and from his brow erased 
All confidence, while thus in sighs he spake : 
"Who hath denied me these abodes of woe?" 
Then thus to me : " That I am a^iger'd, think 
No ground of terror : in this trial I 
Shall vanquish, use what arts they may within 
For hindrance. This their insolence, not new,' 
Erewhile at gate less secret they display'd, 
Which still is without bolt; upon' its arch 
Thou saw'st the deadly scroll : and even now, 
On this side of its entrance, down the, steep. 
Passing the circles, unescorted, conies 
One whose strong might can open us this land." 

' This their insolence, not new. — Virgil assures our 
poet that these evil spirits had formerly shown the same 
insolence when our Saviour descended into hell. They 
attempted to prsvent him from enteripf at the gate, over 

which Dante had read the fatal inscription — "that 
gate which," says the Roman poet, "an angel had just 
passed, by whose aid we shall overcome this opposition, 
and gain admittance into the city," 



After some hindrances, and having seen the hellish furies and other monsters, the poet, by the help of an angel, enters 
the city of Dis, wherein he discovers that the heretics are punished in tombs burning with intense rire : and he, 
tt^ether with Virgil, passes onwards between the sepulchres and the walls of the city. 

nPHE hue,' which coward dread on my pale cheeks 

Imprinted when I saw my guide turn back, 
Chased that from his which newly they had worn, 
And inwardly restrain'd it. He, as one 
Who listens, stood attentive: for his eye 
Not far could lead him through the sable air, 
And the thick-gathering cloud. " It yet behoves 
We win this fight;" thus he began: "if not, 
Such aid to us is offer'd. — Oh I how long 
Me seems it, ere the promised help arrive." 

I noted, how the sequel of his words 
Cloked their beginning; for the last he spake 
Agreed not with the first. But not the less 
My fear was at his saying ; sith I drew 
To import worse, perchance, than that he held, 
His mutilated speech. " Doth ever any 
Into this rueful concave's extreme depth 
Descend, out of the first degree, whose pain 
Is deprivation merely of sweet hope?" 

Thus I inquiring. "Rarely," he replied, 
"It chances, that among us any makes 
This journey, which I wend. Erewhile, 'tis true, 
Once came I here beneath, conjured by fell 
Erictho,*^ sorceress, who compell'd the shades 

' The hue. — Virgil, perceiving that Dante was pale 
with fear, restrained those outward tokens of displeasure 
which his own countenance had betrayed. 

* Etictho. — Erictho, a Thcssalian sorceress, according 

to Lucan, " Pharsalia," L vi., was employed by Sextus, son 
of Ponipcy the Great, to conjure up a spirit, who should 
inform him of the issue of the civil wars between his 
father and Ca:sar. 


Mark thou each dire Erynnis. 

Canto IX. , line 46. 




Back to their bodies. No long space my flesh 

Was naked of me/ when within these walls 

She made me enter, to draw forth a spirit 

From out of Judas' circle. Lowest place 

Is that of all, obscurest, and removed 

Furthest from heaven's all-circling orb. The road 

Full well 1 know : thou therefore rest secure. 

That lake, the noisome stench exhaling, round 

The city of grief encompasses, which now 

We may not enter without rage." Yet more 

He added : but I hold it not in mind. 

For that mine eye toward the lofty tower 

Had drawn me wholly, to its burning top; 

Where, in an instant, I beheld uprisen 

At once three hellish furies, stain'd with blood: 

In limb and motion feminine they seem'd ; 

Around them greenest hydras twisting roll'd 

Their volumes ; adders and cerastes^ crept 

Instead of hair, and their fierce temples bound. 

He, knowing well the miserable hags 
Who tend the queen of endless woe, thus spake: 
" Mark thou each dire Erynnis. To the left, 
This is Megaira ; on the right hand, she 
Who wails, Alccto ; and Tisiphone 
I' th' midst." This said, in silence he remain'd. 
Their breast they each one clawing tore; themselves 
Smote with their palms, and such thrill clamour raised, 
That to the bard I clung, suspicion-bound. 
"Hasten Medusa: so to adamant 
Him shall we change;" all looking down exclaim'd : 

No long space my flesh 
Was naked of me. 

" Quae corpus complexa animae tarn fortis inane." — Ovid, 
Metamorphoses, 1. xiii., fab. 2. Dante appears to have 
fallen into an anachronism. Virgil's death did not happen 
till long after this period. But Lombardi shows, in oppo- 
sition to the other commentators, that the anachronism 
is only apparent. Erictho might well have survived the 
battle of Pharsalia long enough to be employed in her 
magical practices at the time of Virgil's decease. 

' Adders and cerastes. — 

" Vipereum crinem vittis innexa cruentis." 

Virgil, /Eiieid, 1. vi. 281. 
" Spinaque vagi torquente cerastae 
• * * et torrida dipsas 

Et gravis in geminum vergens caput amphisbaena." 
Lucan, Pharsalia, I. ix. 719. 
So Milton : 

" Scorpion and asp, and amphisbaena dire, 
Cerastes horn'd, hydrus and elops drear, 
And dipsas." Paradise Lost, b. x. 524 




" E'en when by Theseus' might assail'd, we took 
No ill revenge." "Turn thyself round, and keep 
Thy countenance hid ; for if the Gorgon dire 
Be shown, and thou shouldst view it, thy return 
Upwards would be for ever lost. This said, 
Himself, my gentle master, turn'd me round ; 
Nor trusted he my hands, but with his own 
He also hid me. Ye of intellect 
Sound and entire, mark well the lore' conceal'd 
Under close texture of the mystic strain. 

And now there came o'er the perturbed waves 
Loud-crashing, t-errible, a sound that made 
Either shore tremble, as if of a wind* 
Impetuous, from conflicting vapours sprung, 
That 'gainst some forest driving all his might, 
Plucks off the branches, beats them down, and hurls 
Afar;^ then, onward passing, proudly sweeps 
His whirlwind rage, while beasts and shepherds fly. 

Mine eyes he loosed, and spake: "And now direct 
Thy visual nerve along that ancient foam. 
There, thickest where the smoke ascends." As frogs 
Before their foe the serpent, through the wave 
Ply swiftly all, till at the ground each one 
Lies on a heap ; more than a thousand spirits 
Destroy 'd, so saw I fleeing before one 
Who pass'd with unwet feet the Stygian sound. 
He, from his face removing the gross air. 
Oft his left hand forth stretch'd, and seera'd alone 
By that annoyance wearied. I perceived 

• Th* /or*.— The poet probably intends to call the 
reader's attention to the allegorical and mystic sense of 
the present canto, and not, as Venturi supposes, to that 
of the whole work. Landino supposes this liidden mean- 
ing to be, that in the case of those vices which proceed 
irom incontinence and intemperance, reason, which is 
figured under the person of Virgil, with the ordinary 
grace of God, may be a sufficient safeguard ; but that in 
the instance of more heinous crimes, such as those we 
shall hereafter see punished, a special grace, represented 
by the angel, is requisite for our defence. 

' A wind. — Imitated by Berni : 
Com' un gruppo di vento in la marina 

V onde, e le navi sottosopra caccia, 

Ed in terra con furia repentina 

Gli arbori abbatte, svegHc, sfronda e straccia. 

Smarriti fuggon i lavoratori 

E per le selve le fiere e' pastori." 

Orlando Initamorato, lib. i., c. ii., st 6. 
' Aftxr. — " Porta 1 fiori,'' "carries away the blossoms," 
is the common reading. "' Porta fuori," which is the 
right reading, adopted by Lombardi in his edition from 
the Nidobeatina, for which he claims it exclusively, I 
also seen in Landino's edition of 1484, and adopted from 
thence, long before it was my chance to meet with Lom- 










O T3 



:anto IX. 


That he was sent from heaven ; and to my guide 
Turn'd me, who signal made, that I should stand 
Quiet, and bend to him. Ah me! how full 
Of noble anger seem'd he. To the gate 
He came, and with his wand' touch 'd it, whereat 
Open without impediment it flew. 

"Outcasts of heaven! Oh, abject race, and scorn 'd!' 
P Began he, on the horrid grunsel standing, 
" Whence doth this wild excess of insolence 
Lodge in you? wherefore kick you 'gainst that will 
Ne'er frustrate of its end, and which so oft 
Hath laid on you enforcement of your pangs? 
What profits, at the fates to butt the horn? 
Your Cerberus,^ if ye remember, hence 
Bears still, peel'd of their hair, his throat and maw.' 

This said, he turn'd back o'er the filthy way. 
And syllable to us spake none ; but wore 
The semblance of a man by other care 
Beset, and keenly prest, than thought of him 
Who in his presence stands. Then we our steps 
Toward that territory moved, secure 
After the hallow'd words. We, unopposed. 
There enter'd ; and, my mind eager to learn 
What state a fortress like to that might hold, 
I, soon as enter'd, throw mine eye around. 
And see, on every part, wide-stretching space, 
Replete with bitter pain and torment ill. 

As where Rhone stagnates on the plains of Aries,*'' 

• mU his ward — 

' She with her rod did softly smite the raile, 
Which straight flew ope." 

Spenser, Faery Queen, b. iv. , c. iii., st. 46. 

* Your Cerberus. — Cerberus is feisned to have been 
dragged by Hercules, bound with a threefold chain, of 
which, says the angel, he still bears the marks. Lom- 
bardi blames the other interpreters for having supposed 
that the angel attributes this exploit to Hercules, a fabu- 
lous hero, rather than to our Saviour. It would seem as 
if the good father had forgotten that Ceiberus is himself 
no less a creature of the imagination than the hero who 
encountered Itim. 

» The plains of Aries. — In Provence. See Ariosto 
•' Orlando Furioso," c. xxxix., St. 72 : 

" Fu da ogni parte in quest' ultima guerra 
(Benche la cosa non fu ugual divisa, 
Ch' assai piCi andar dei Saracin sotterra 
Per man di Bradamante e di Marfisa) 
Se ne vede ancor segno in quella terra, 
Che presso ad Arli, ove il Rodano stagna. 
Plena di sepolture i la campagna." 

These sepulchres are mentioned in the " Life of Charle- 
magne," which goes under the name of Archbishop Tur- 
pin, cap. 28 and 30, and by Fazio dcgli Uberti, " Ditta- 
mondo," 1. iv., cap xxi. 

48 THE VISION; 112— 131. 

Or as at Pola.J near Quarnaro's gulf, 
That closes Italy and laves her bounds, 
The place is all thick spread with sepulchres; 
■ So was it here, save what in horror here 

Excell'd : for 'midst the graves were scatter'd flames, 
Wherewith intensely all throughout they burn'd,* 
That iron for no craft there hotter needs. 

Their lids all hung suspended ; and beneath, 
From them forth issued lamentable moans, 
Such as the sad and tortured well might raise. 

I thus : " Master I say who are these, interr'd 
Within these vaults, of whom distinct we hear 
The dolorous sighs." He answer thus return'd : 
" The arch-heretics are here, accompanied 
By every sect their followers ; and much more, 
Than thou believest, the tombs are freighted: like 
With like is buried ; and the monuments 
Arc different in degrees of heat." This said, 
He to the right hand turning, on we pass'd 
Betwixt the afflicted and the ramparts high. 

* -4/ /'<?/«.— A city of Istria, situated near ihe Galf of 1 Incantation of Hcrvor (v. " Not them Antiquities," 
Quarnaro, in the Adriatic Sea. vol ii.) the spirit of Angantyr lies in a tomb " all on 

* They burtCd. — Mr. Darley observes, that in the fire.'' 


He answer thus return'd : 
" The arch-heretics are here, accompanied 
By every sect their followers." 

Canio IX., lines 124-126. 



Dante, having obtained permission from his guide, holds discourse with Farinata degli Uberti and Cavalcante Cavalcanti, 
who lie in their fiery tombs that are yet open, and not to be closed up till after the last judgment. Farinata predicts 
the poet's exile from Florence ; and shows him that the condemned have knowledge of future things, but are 
ignorant of what is at present passing, unless it be revealed by some new comer from earth. 

XT OW by a secret pathway we proceed, 

Between the walls, that hem the region round, 
And the tormented souls : my master first, 
I close behind his steps. "Virtue supreme I" 
I thus began: "who through these ample orb.s 
In circuit lead'st me, even as thou will'st; 
Speak thou, and satisfy my wish. May those, 
Who lie within these sepulchres, be seen? 
Already all the lids are raised, and none 
O'er them keeps watch." He thus in answer spake : 
"They shall be closed all, what time they here 
From Josaphat^ return'd shall come, and bring 
Their bodies, which above they now have left. 
The cemetery on this part obtain, 
With Epicurus, all his followers, 
Who with the body make the spirit die. 
Here therefore satisfaction shall be soon, 
Both to the question ask'd, and to the wish* 
Which thou conceal'st in silence." I replied: 
" I keep not, guide beloved 1 from thee my heart 
Secreted, but to shun vain length of words ; 
A lesson erewhile taught me by thyself." 

' yosaphat. — It seems to have been a common opinion 
among the Jews, as well as among many Christians, that 
the general judgment will be held in the valley of 
Josaphat, or Jehoshaphat : " I will also gather all nations, 
and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, 
and will plead with them there for my people and 

for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among 
the nations, and parted my land," Joel iii. 2. 

' The wish.— The wish, that Dante had not expressed, 
was to see and converse with the followers of Epicuius ; 
among whom, we shall see, were Farinata degli Uberti 
and Cavalcante Cavalcanti. 





" O Tuscan ! thou, who through the city of fire 
Alive art passing, so discreet of speech : 
Here, please thee, stay awhile. Thy utterance 
Declares the place of thy nativity 
To be that noble land, with which perchance 
I too severely dealt." Sudden that sound 
Forth issued from a vault, whereat, in fear, 
I somewhat closer to my leader's side 
Approaching, he thus spake : " What dost thou ? Turn : 
Lol Farinata' there, who hath himself 
Uplifted : from his girdle upwards, all 
Exposed, behold him." On his face was mine 
Already fix'd : his breast and forehead there 
Erecting, seem'd as in high scorn he held 
E'en hell. Between the sepulchres, to him 
My guide thrust me, with fearless hands and prompt; 
This warning added: "See thy words be clear." 

He, soon as there I stood at the tomb's foot. 
Eyed me a space ; then in disdainful mood 
Address'd me : " Say what ancestors were thine." 

I, willing to obey him, straight reveal'd 
The whole, nor kept back aught : whence he, his brow 
Somewhat uplifting, cried : " Fiercely were they 
Adverse to me, my party, and the blood 
From whence I sprang : twice,* therefore, I abroad 
Scatter'd them." "Though driven out, yet they each time 
From all parts," answer'd I, " return'd ; an art 
Which yours have shown they are not skill 'd to learn." 

Then, peering forth from the unclosed jaw, 
Rose from his side a shade,^ high as the chin. 

• Farinata. — Farinata degli Uberti, a noble Floren- 
tine, was ihe leader of the Ghibelline faction, when they 
obtained a signal victory over the Giielfi at Montaperto, 
near the river Arbia. Macchiavelli calls him "a man of 
exalted soul, and great military talents," "History of 
Florence," b. ii. His grandson, Bonifacio, or, as he is 
commonly called, Fazio degli Uberti, wrote a poem, en- 
titled the " Dittamondo," in imitation of Dante. I shall 
have frequent occasion to refer to it throughout these 

Notes. At the conclusion of cap. 27, L ii. he makes 
mention of his ancestor Farinata. See Note 4 to Life 
of Dante. 

' Twice.— The first time in 1248, when they were driven 
out by Frederick II.— see G. Villani, lib. vi., c. xxxiv. ; 
and the second time in 1260. See Note to v. 83. 

' Rose from his side a shade. — The spirit of Caval- 
cante Cavalcanti, a noble Florentine, of the Guelph 

/■ 50. 

He, soon as there I stood at the tomb's foot, 
Eyed me a space ; then in a disdainful mood 
Address'd me : " Say what ancestors were thine." 

Canto X , iint's 40-42. 




Leaning, methought, upon its knees upraised. 

It look'd around, as eager to explore 

If there were other with me ; but perceiving 

That fond imagination quench'd, with tears 

Thus spake : " If thou through this blind prison go'st, 

Led by thy lofty genius and profound, 

Where is my son P^ and wherefore not with thee ?" 

I straight replied : " Not of myself I come ; 
By him, who there expects me, through this clime 
Conducted, whom perchance Guido thy son 
Had in contempt."^ Already had his words 
And mode of punishment read me his name, 
Whence I so fully answer'd. He at once 
Exclaim'd, up starting, "How! said'st thou, he had?^ 
No longer lives he? Strikes not on his eye 
The blessed daylight?" Then, of some delay 
I made ere my reply, aware, down fell 
Supine, nor after forth appear'd he more. 

Meanwhile the other, great of soul, near whom 
I yet was station'd, changed not countenance stern, 

' My son. — Guido, the son of Cavalcante Cavalcanti ; 
"he whom I call the first of my friends," says Dante in 
his "Vita Nuova," where the commencement of their 
friendship is related. From the character given of him 
by contemporary writers, his temper was well formed to 
assimilate with that of our poet. " He was," according 
to G. Villani, lib. viii., c. xli., "of a philosophical and 
elegant mind, if he had not been too delicate and fas- 
tidious." And Dino Compagni terms him "a young and 
noble knight, brave and courteous, but of a lofty, scorn- 
ful spirit, much addicted to solitude and study," Mura- 
tori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, t. 9, lib. i., p. 481. He 
died, either in exile at Serrazana, or soon after his return 
to Florence, December, 1300, during the spring of which 
year the action of this poem is supposed to be passing. 

' Guido thy son had in contempt. — Guido Calvacanti, 
being more given to philosophy than poetry, was perhaps 
no great admirer of Virgil. Some poetical compositions 
by Guido are, however, still extant ; and his reputation 
for skill in the art was such as to eclipse that of his prede- 
cessor and namesake, Guido Guinicelli. His "Canzone 
sopra il Terreno Amore'' was thought worthy of being 
illustrated by numerous and ample commentaries ; Cres- 
cimbeni, " Istoria della Volgar Poesia," lib. v. Our 
author addressed him in a playful sonnet, of which the 
following spirited translation is found in the notes to 
Hayley's " Essay on Epic Poetry," ep. iii. : — 

" Henry ! I wish that you, and Charles, and I, 

By some sweet spell within a barque were placed. 

A gallant barque with magic virtue graced, 
Swift at our will with every wind to fly ; 

.So that no changes of the shifting sky, 
No stormy terrors of the watery waste. 
Might bar our course, but heighten still our taste 
Of sprightly joy, and of out social tie :. 

Then that my Lucy, Lucy fair and free, 

With those soft nymphs, on whom your souls are bent, 
The kind magician might to us convey, 

To talk of love throughout the live-long day ; 
And that each fair might be as well content, 
As I in truth believe our hearts would be." 

The two friends, here called Hcr.ry and Charles, are, in 
the original, Guido and Lapo, concerning the latter of 
whom see the Life of Dante prefixed : and Lucy is Monna 
Bice. A more literal version of the sonnet may be found 
in the " Canzoniere of Dante, translated by Charles 
Lyell, Esq.," 8vo, London, 1835, p. 407. 

» Said'st thou, he had. — In .^schylus the shade of 
Darius is represented as inquiring with similar anxiety 
aficr the fate of his son Xerxes : — 

"' Alossa. MovaOrt il ZipKrivefiriitiiv (paaiv oinroXXui' iura — 
Darius, ndij le Irj icai ttoI Tf\eiTfv; iart rif a(iiTq(iia." 
HEI'SAI, 741, Blomfield'sedit. 

" Aiossa. — Xerxes astonish'd, desolate, alone — 
Ghost of Dar. How will this end ? Nay, pause not. 
Is he safe?" 

The Persians. Potter's Translation 




Nor moved the neck, nor bent his ribbed side. 

"And if," continuing the first discourse, 

*'They in this art," he cried, "small skill have shown; 

That doth torment me more e'en than this bed. 

But not yet fifty times* shall be relumed 

Her aspect, who reigns here queen of this realm/ 

Ere thou shalt know the full weight of that art. 

So to the pleasant world mayst thou return,'^ 

As thou shalt tell me why, in all their laws, 

Against my kin this people is so fell." 

" The slaughter + and great havoc," I replied, 
"That colour'd' Arbia's flood with crimson stain- 
To these impute, that in our hallow'd dome 
Such orisons^ ascend." Sighing he shook 
The head, then thus resumed : " In that affray 
I stood not singly, nor, without just cause. 
Assuredly, should with the rest have stirr'd ; 
But singly there I stood," when, by consent 
Of all, Florence had to the ground been razed. 
The one who openly forbade the deed." 

" So may thy lineage''' find at last repose," 

' Not yet fifty times. — " Not fifty • months shall be 
passed, before thou shalt learn, by woful experience, the 
difficulty of returning from banishment to thy native 

' Queen of this realm. — The moon, one of whose titles 
in heathen mythology was Proserpine, queen of the shades 

• So to the pleasant world mayst thou return. — 

" E se tu mai nel dolce mondo reggi." 

Lombard! would construe this : " And if thou ever 
remain in the world." His chief reasons for 
thus departing from the common interpretation are, first, 
that " se " in the sense of '■ so " cannot be followed by 
"mai," any more than in Latin sic can be followed by 
unguam ; and next that "reggi " is too unlike riedito be 
put for it. A more intimate acquaintance with the early 
Florentine writers would have taught him that " mai " is 
used in other senses than those whioh unguam appears to 
have had, particularly in that of pur, " yet ;" as may be 
seen in the notes to the " Decameron^" p. 43, ed. Giunti, 
'573 ; and that the old writers both of prose and verse 
changed riedo into reggio, as o{ Jiedo \.\i&f ma.At feggio, 
. " Inf." c. XV., V. 39, and c. xvii., v. 75. See page 98 of the 
same notes to the " Decameron," where a poet before 
Dante's time is said to have translated " Redcunt flores " 
" Reggiono i fieri." 

* T/u slaughter. — " By means of Farinata degli Uberti, 

the Guelfi were conquered by the army of King Manfredi, 
near the river Arbia, with so great a slaughter, that those 
who escaped from that defeat took refuge, not in Florence, 
which city they considered as lost to them, but in Lucca." 
— Macchiavelli, History of Flore>ice,h. ii., and G. Villani, 
lib. vi., c. Ixxx. and Ixxxi. 

' Such orisons.— TXris appears to allude to certain 
prayers which were offered up in the churches of Flo- 
rence, for deliverance from the hostile attempts of the 
Uberti : or, it may be, that the public councils being held 
in churches, the speeches delivered in them against the 
Uberti are termed " orisons," or prayers. 

' Singly there I stood. — Guido Novello assembled a 
council of the Ghibellini at Empoli ; where it was agieed 
by all, that, in order to maintain the ascendancy of the 
Ghibelline party in Tuscany, it was necessary to destroy 
Florence, which could serve only (the people of that city 
being Guelfi) to enable the party attached to the Church 
to recover its strength. This cruel sentence, passed upon 
so noble a city, met with no opposition from any of its 
citizens or friends, except Farinata degli Uberti, who 
openly and without reserve forbade the measure ; affirm- 
ing, that he had endured so many hardships, and encoun- 
tered so many dangers, with no other view than that of 
being able to pass his days in his own country. — Macchia- 
vein. History of Florence, b. ii. 

' So may thy lineage. — " Deh se riposi mai vostra se- 
menza." Here Lombardi is again mistaken, as at v. So, 

94— "I- 



I thus adjured him, "as thou solve this knot, 
Which now involves my mind. If right I hear • 
Ye seem to view beforehand that which time 
Leads with him, of the present uninform'd." 

" We view,i as one who hath an evil sight," 
He answer'd, " plainly, objects far remote ; 
So much of his large splendour yet imparts 
The Almighty Ruler: but when they approach, 
Or actually exist, our intellect 
Then wholly fails ; nor of your human state, 
Except what others bring us, know we aught. 
Hence therefore mayst thou understand, that all 
Our knowledge in that instant shall expire, 
VVhen on futurity the portals close." 

Then conscious of my fault,^ and by remorse 
Smitten, I added thus : " Now shalt thou say 
To him there fallen, that his offspring still 
Is to the living join'd ; and bid him know, 
That if from answer, silent, I abstain'd, 
Twas that my thought was occupied, intent 
Upon that error, which thy help hath solved. ' 

But now my master summoning me back 
I heard, and with more eager haste besought 
The spirit to inform me, who with him 
Partook his lot. He answer thus return 'd : 
" More than a thousand with me here are laid. 
Within is Frederick,^ second of that name, 
And the Lord Cardinal ;* and of the rest 

above. Let me take this occasion to apprise the reader of 
Itah'an poetry, that one not well versed in it is very apt 
to misapprehend the word "se,"as I think Cowper hac 
done in translating Milton's Italian verses. A good in- 
stance of the different meanings in which it is used is 
afforded in the following lines by Bernardo Capello : — 

'* E tu, che dolcemente i fiori e 1' erba 
Con lieve corso mormorando bagni, 
Tranquillo fiume di vaghczza pieno ; 
Se '1 cielo al mar si chiaro t' accompagni ; 
Se punto di pietade in te si serba : 
Le mie lagrime accogli entro al tuo sena" 

Here the first " se" signifies "so," and the second "i£" 

' We view. — " The departed spirits know things past 
and to come ; yet are ignorant of things present. Aga- 
memnon foretells what should happen unto Ulysses, yet 
ignorantly inquires what is become of his own son." — 
Drown on Urne Burial, ch. iv. 

' My fault. — Dante felt remorse for not having returned 
an immediate answer to the inquiry of Cavalcante, from 
which delay he was led to believe that his son Guido was 
no longer living. 

• Frederick. — The Emperor Frederick H., who died in 
1250. See Notes to canto xiii. 

* The Lord Cardinal. — Ottaviano Ubaldini, a Floren- 
tine, made cardinal in 1245, and deceased about 1273. 
On account of his great influence, he was generally known 



112— 138. 

I speak not." He, this said, from sight withdrew. 

But I my steps toward the ancient bard 

Reverting, ruminated on the words 

Betokening me such ill. Onward he moved, 

And thus, in going, question'd : " Whence the amaze 

That holds thy senses wrapt?" I satisfied 

The inquiry, and the sage enjoin'd me straight : 

" Let thy safe memory store what thou hast heard 

To thee importing harm ; and note thou this," 

With his raised finger bidding me take heed, 

" When thou shalt stand before her gracious beam/ 

Whose bright eye all surveys, she of thy life 

The future tenour will to thee unfold." 

Forthwith he to the left hand turn'd his feet : 
We left the wall, and towards the middle space 
Went by a path that to a valley strikes, 
Which e'en thus high exhaled its noisome steam. 

by the appellation of " the Cardinal." It is reported of 
him, that he declared, if there were any such thing as a 
human soul, he had lost his for the Ghibellini. " I know 
not,'' says Tiraboschi, " whether it is on sufficient grounds 
that Crescimbeni numbers among the poets of this age 
the Cardinal Uttaviana or Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, a 
Florentine, archdeacon and procurator of the church of 
Bologna, afterwr.rJs made card-nal by Innocent IV. in 

1245, and employed in the most important public affairs, 
wherein, however, he showed himself, more than became 
his character, a favourer of the Ghibellines. He died, 
not in the year 1272, as Ciaconio and other writers have 
reported, but at soonest after the July of 1273, at which 
time he was in Mugello with Pope Gregory X." — Tira- 
boschi, Delia Poes. It, Mr. Mathia:^ cdit^ t i., p. 140. 
' Her gracious beam. — Beatrice 

/■ 55- 

From the profound abyss, behind the lid 
Of a great monument we stood retired. 

Canto XI., lints 6, 7. 



Dante arrives at the verge of a rocky precipice which encloses the seventh circle, where he sees the sepulchre of 
Anastasius the heretic ; behind the lid of which pausing a little, to make himself capable by degrees of enduring 
the fetid smell that steamed upward from the abyss, he is instructed by Virgil concerning the manner in which 
the three following circles are disposed, and what description of sinners is punished in each. He then inquires 
the reason why the carnal, the gluttonous, the avaricious and prodigal, the wrathful and gloomy, suffer not their 
punishments within the city of Dis. He next asks how the crime of usury is an offence against God ; and at 
length the two poets go towards the place from whence a passage leads down to the seventh circle. 

T T PON the utmost verge of a high bank, 

By craggy rocks environ'd round, we came, 
Where v\:oes beneath, more cruel yet, were stow'd : 
And here, to shun the horrible excess 
Of fetid exhalation upward cast 
From the profound abyss, behind the lid 
Of a great monument we stood retired. 
Whereon this scroll I mark'd : "I have in charge" 
Pope Anastasius,^ whom Photinus drew 
From the right path." — " Ere our descent, behoves 
We make delay, that somewhat first the sense, 
To the dire breath accustom'd, afterward 
Regard it not." My master thus ; to whom 
Answering I spake : " Some compensation find, 
That the time pass not wholly lost." He then : 
*' Lo I how my thoughts e'en to thy wishes tend. 
My son,^ within these rocks," he thus began, 
" Are three close circles in gradation placed. 
As these which now thou leavest. Each one is full 

• Pope Anastasius. — The commentators are not agreed 
concerning the person who is here mentioned as a follower 
of the heretical Photinus. By some he is supposed to 
have been Anastasius 11. ; by others, the fourth of that 
name ; while a third set contend that our poet has con- 
founded him with Anastasius I., Emperor of the East 

" Anastasio papa in quel tempo era, 
Di Fotin vago a mal grade de sui." 

DittamondOy 1. ii., cap. xiv. 

' My son. — The remainder of the present canto may 
be considered as a syllabus of the whole of this part ot 

Fazio degli Uberti, like our author, makes him a pope : the poem. 



20— 52. 

Of spirits accurst ; but that the sight alone 
Hereafter may suffice thee, listen how 
■And for what cause in durance they abide. 

" Of all malicious act abhorr'd in heaven, 
The end is injury ; and all such end 
Either by force or fraud ^ works other's woe. 
But fraud, because of man peculiar evil. 
To God is more displeasing ; and beneath, 
The fraudulent are therefore doom'd to endure 
Severer pang. The violent occupy 
All the first circle ; and because, to force. 
Three persons are obnoxious, in three rounds, 
Each within other separate, is it framed. 
To God, his neighbour, and himself, by man 
Force may be offer'd ; to himself I say. 
And his possessions, as thou soon shalt hear 
At full. Death, violent death, and painful wounds 
Upon his neighbour he inflicts; and wastes, 
By devastation, pillage, and the flames, 
His substance. Slayers, and each one that smites 
In malice, plunderers, and all robbers, hence 
The torment undergo of the first round. 
In different herds. Man can do violence 
To himself and his own blessings: and for this. 
He in the second round must aye deplore 
With unavailing penitence his crime. 
Whoe'er deprives himself of life and light, 
In reckless lavishment his talent wastes, 
And sorrows'* there where he should dwell in joy. 
To God may force be offer'd, in the heart 
Denying and blaspheming his high power. 
And Nature with her kindly law contemning. 
And thence the inmost round marks with its seal 

' Either by force or fraud.— '^ Cum autem duobus 
modis, id est, aut vi, aut fraude, fiat injuria . . . utrumque 
homini alicnissimum ; sed fraus o lio digna majore." — Cic. 
de Off., lib. i., c. xiii. 

• And sorrows. — This fine moral, that not to enjoy our 

being is to be ungrateful to the Author of it, is well ex- 
pressed in Spenser, " Faery Queen," b. iv., c. viii., St. 15 : — 
" For he whose daies in wilful woe are worne, 
The grace of his Creator doth despise, 
That will not use his gifts for thankless nigardise." 

|3-«5 HRLL. — CANTO XI. ey 

Sodom, and Cahors,^ and all such as speak 
Contemptuously of the Godhead in their hearts, 

" Fraud, that in every conscience leaves a sting, 
May be by man employ 'd on one, whose trust 
He wins, or on another who withholds 
Strict confidence. Seems as the latter way 
Broke but the bond of love which Nature makes. 
^ Whence in the second circle have their nest, 
Dissimulation, witchcraft, flatteries, 
Theft, falsehood, simony, all who seduce 
To lust, or set their honesty at pawn, 
With such vile scum as these. The other way 
Forgets both Nature's general love, and that 
Which thereto added afterward gives birth 
To special faith. Whence in the lesser circle, 
Point of the universe, dread seat of Dis, 
The traitor is eternally consumed." 

I thus : " Instructor, clearly thy discourse 
Proceeds, distinguishing the hideous chasm 
And its inhabitants with skill exact. 
But tell me this : they of the dull, fat pool, 
Whom the rain beats, or whom the tempest drives. 
Or who with tongues so fierce conflicting meet, 
Wherefore within the city fire-illumed 
Are not these punish'd, if God's wrath be on them? 
And if it be not, wherefore in such guise 
Are they condemn'd ?" He answer thus return'd: 
" Wherefore in dotage wanders thus thy mind, 
Not so accustom'd ? or what other thoughts 
Possess it? Dwell not in thy memory 
The words, wherein thy ethic page^ describes 
Three dispositions adverse to Heaven's will, 
Incontinence, malice, and mad brutishness, 

' Cahors. — A city of Guienne, much frequented by 

' Thy ethic page. — He refers to Aristotle's Ethics : 
" Mera ii ravra XexTeov^ oAAi/v Troitjtxa^evovQ apx^t^t on 
rwv iKiH ri ifii) ^avKTitv rpia cirriveidi), xatla, atQaaia, 

3i)piori)c." — Ethic Nicotnach., lib. vii., c. I. " fn the next 

place, entering on another division of the subject, let it 
be defined, that respecting morals there are three sorts of 
things to be avoided — malice, incontinence, and brutish- 


58 THE VISION. 86-115. 

And how incontinence the least offends 
God, and least guilt incurs ? If well thou note 
This judgment, and remember who they are, 
Without these walls to vain repentance doom'd, 
Thou shalt discern why they apart are placed 
From these fell spirits, and less wreakful pours 
Justice divine on them its vengeance down," 

" Oh, sun ! who healest all imperfect sight, 
Thou so content'st me, when thou solvest my doubt, 
That ignorance not less than knowledge charms. 
Yet somewhat turn thee back," I in these words 
Continued, " where thou said'st, that usury 
Offends celestial Goodness ; ' and this knot 
Perplex'd unravel." He thus made reply: 
" Philosophy, to an attentive ear, 
Clearly points out, not in one part alone, 
How imitative Nature takes her course 
From the celestial mind, and from its art : 
And where her laws^ the Stagirite unfolds. 
Not many leaves scann'd o'er, observing well 
Thou shalt discover, that your art on her 
Obsequious follows, as the learner treads 
In his instructor's step ; so that your art 
Deserves the name of second in descent* 
From God. These two, if thou recall to mind 
Creation's holy book,^ from the beginning 
Were the right source of life and excellence 
To human kind. But in another path 
The usurer walks ; and Nature in herself 
And in her follower thus he sets at nought, 

' /fgr iaws.— Aristotle's Physics. ""H rixvn h'/^^'-"^ \ ' Seconti in descent.— 
n)v ^vaivr— Aristotle, ♦VX. AK.P., lib. ii., c. 2. " Art 1 ' Si che vostr* arte a Dio quasi « nipote 

imitates Nature." See the " Coltivazione" of Ala- ' So Frezzi : 
manni, lib. L 

" L'arte umana 

Altro non d da dir ch' un dolce sprone, 

Un corrcger soave, un pio sostegno, 

Uno esperto imitar, comporre accorto 

Un sollecito attar con studio e'ngegno 

La cagion natural, i' eflietto, e 1' opra." 

" Giustizia fu da cielo, e di Dio e figlia, 
E ogni bona legge a Dio e nipote." 

// Quadriregio, lib. iv., cap. 2. 
• Creation's holy book. — Gen. ii. 15 : "And the Lord 
God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden 
to dress it and to keep it." And Gen. iii. 19 : " In the 
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." 


Placing elsewhere his hope.' But follow now 
My steps on fonvard journey bent ; for now 
The Pisces play with undulating glance 
Along the horizon, and the Wain^ lies all 
O'er the north-west ; and onward there a space 
Is our steep passage down the rocky height." 

' Placing elsuvhere his hope. — The usurer, trusting in 
the produce of his wealth, lent out on usury, despises 
Nature directly, because he does not avail himself of her 
means for maintaining or enriching himself; and indi- 

rectly, because he does not avail himself of the means 
which Art, the follower and imitator of Nature, would 
afford him for the same purposes. 
' IVain. — The constellation Bootes, or Charles's Wain. 



Descending by a very rugged way into the seventh circle, where the violent are punished, Dante end his leader find 
it guarded by the Minotaur; whose fury being pacified by Virgil, they step downwards frcm crag to crag; till, 
drawing near the bottom, they descry a river of blood, wherein are tormented such as have committed violence 
against their neighbour. At these, when they strive to emerge from thj6 blood, a troop of Centaurs, running 
along the side of the river, aim their arrows ; and three of their band opposing our travellers at the foot of 
the steep, Virgil prevails so far, that one consents to carry them both across the stream ; and on their passage 
Dante is informed by him of the course of the river, and of those that are punished therein. 

nPHE place, where to descend the precipice 

-^ We came, was rough as Alp ; and on its verge 
Such object lay, as every eye would shun. 
As is that ruin, which Adice's stream^ 
On this side Trento struck, shouldering the wave, 
Or loosed by earthquake or for lack of prop ; 
For from the mountain's summit, whence it moved 
To the low level, so the headlong rock 
Is shiver'd, that some passage*^ it might give 
To him who from above would pass ; e'en such 
Into the chasm was that descent : and there 
At point of the disparted ridge lay stretch'd 
The infamy of Crete,^ detested brood 
Of the feign 'd heifer :* and at sight of us 
It gnaw'd itself, as one with rage distract. 
To him my guide exclaim'd : " Perchance thou deem*st 
The King of Athens* here, who, in the world 

' Adieus stream. — After a great deal having been said 
on the subject, it still appears very uncertain at what part 
of the river this fall of the mountain happened. 

' Some passage. — Lombardi erroneously, I think, under- 
stands by "alcuna via" "no passage;" in which sense 
"alcuno" is certainly sometimes used by some old writers. 
Monti, as usual, agrees with Lombardi. See Note to 
C iii., V. 4a 

* The infamy of Crete. — The Minotaur. 

* The feigned heifer. — Pasiphag. 

' The King of Athens. — Theseus, who was enabled by 
the instruction of Ariadne, the sister of the Minotaur, to 
destroy that monster. " Duca d'Atene." So Chaucer calls 
Theseus ; 

" Whilom, as olde stories tellen us, 
There was a duk, that higlite Th-iseus." 

The Knight/s Tale. 
And Shakespeare: 

p. 60. 

And there 
At point of the disparted ridge lay stretch'd 
The infamy of Crete, detested brood 
Of the feign'd heifer. 

Canto X/I., lines II-14. 




Above, thy death contrived. Monster I avaunt I 
He comes not tutor'd by thy sister's art,^ 
But to behold your torments is he come." 

Like to a bull,^ that with impetuous spring 
Darts, at the moment when the fatal blow 
Hath struck him, but unable to proceed 
Plunges on either side ; so saw I plunge 
The Minotaur ; whereat the sage exclaim'd : 
" Run to the passage 1 while he storms, 'tis well 
That thou descend." Thus down our road we took 
Through those dilapidated crags, that oft 
Moved underneath my feet, to weight^ like theirs 
Unused. I pondering went, and thus he spake : 
" Perhaps thy thoughts are of this ruin'd steep, 
Guarded by the brute violence, which I 
Have vanquish 'd now. Know then, that when I erst 
Hither descended to the nether hell. 
This rock was not yet fallen. But past doubt, 
(If well I mark) not long ere He arrived,* 
Who carried off from Dis the mighty spoil 
Of the highest circle, then through all its bounds 
Such trembling seized the deep concave and foul, 
I thought the universe was thrill'd with love. 
Whereby, there are who deem, the world hath oft 
Been into chaos turn'd :^ and in that point, 
Here, and elsewhere, that old rock toppled down. 
But fix thine eyes beneath : the river of blood* 

" Happy be Theseus, our renowned Duke." 

Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i., sc. I. 
"This is in reality," observes Mr. Douce, "no mifap- 
plication of a modern title, as Mr. Steevens conceived, but 
a legitimate use of the word in its primitive Latin sense of 
leader, and so it is often used in the Bible. Shakespeare 
might have found Duke Theseus in the Book of Troy, or 
in Turberville's Ovid's Epistles. See the argument to that 
of Phaedra and Hippolytus."— Z?o«f^'j Illustrations of 
Shakespeare, 8vo, 1807, vol. i., p. 179. 
' Thy sister's art. — Ariadne. 
' Like to a bull.— 

" 'Qs S' orav iKiv cx'"'' "e^f*"" oiZh'os o'"^! 
Kdi/fnc iWirifiec Kcpawv iiobi aypavXoio, 
Iva raitti M leaeav, !i irpoBnpwv fci:ii)iiv." 

Homer, Iliad, L xvii. 522. 

" As when some vigorous youth with sharpen'd axe 
A pastured bullock smites behind the horns, 
And hews the muscle through ; he at the stroke 
Springs forth and falls." Cowper's Translation. 

• To weight. — 

" Incumbent on the dusky air 
That felt unusual weight." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. L 227. 

• He arrived.— Onr Saviour, who, according to Dante, 
when he ascended from hell, carried with him the souls of 
the patriarchs, and of other just men, out of the first circle. 
See canto iv. 

' Been into chaos turn'd. — This opinion is attributed to 

• The river of blood.—" Deinde vidi locum (? lacum) 




Approaches, in the which all those are steep'd, 
Who have by violence injured." Oh, blind lust! 
Oh, foolish wrath I who so dost goad us on 
In the brief life, and in the eternal then 
Thus miserably o'erwhelm us. I beheld 
An ample fosse, that in a bow was bent, 
As circling all the plain ; for so my guide 
Had told. Between it and the rampart's base, 
On trail ran Centaurs, with keen arrows arm'd, 
As to the chase they on the earth were wont. 

At seeing us descend they each one stood ; 
And issuing from the troop, three sped with bows 
And missile weapons chosen first ; of whom 
One cried from far : " Say, to what pain ye come 
Condemn'd, who down this steep have journey 'd. Speak 
From whence ye stand, or else the bow I draw." 

To whom my guide : " Our answer shall be made 
To Chiron, there, when nearer him we come. 
Ill was thy mind, thus ever quick and rash." 
Then me he touch 'd, and spake : " Nessus is this, 
Who for the fair Deianira died, 
And wrought himself revenge' for his own fate. 
He in the midst, that on his breast looks down, 
Is the great Chiron who Achilles nursed ; 
That other, Pholus, prone to wrath." Around 
The fosse these go by thousands, aiming shafts 
At whatsoever spirit dares emerge^ 
From out the blood, more than his guilt allows. 

We to those beasts, that rapid strode along. 
Drew near; when Chiron took an arrow forth, 
And with the notch push'd back his shaggy beard 

magnum totum, ut mihi vidobatur, plenum sanguine. Sed 
dixit mihi Apostolus, sed non sanguis, sed ignis est ad 
concremandos homicidas, et odiosos deputatus. Hanc 
tamen similitudinem propter sanguinis effusionem retinct." 
— Alberici Visio, § 7. 

' And wrought himself revenge. — Nessus, when dying 
by the hand of Hercules, charged Deianira to preserve 
the gore from his wound; for that if the affections of 
Hercules should at any time be estranged from her, it 

would act as a charm, and recall them. DeYanira had 
occasion to try the experiment ; and the venom acting, as 
Nessus had intended, caused Hercules to expire in tor- 
ments. See the " Trachinias" of Sophocles. 

' Emerge. — "Multos in eis vidi usque ad talos demergi, 
alios usque ad genua, vel femora, alios usque ad pectus 
juxta peccati vidi modum : alios vero qui majoris criminis 
noxa tencbantur in ipsis summitatibus supersedere con- 
spexi." — Alberici Visio, § 3. 
















To the cheek-bone,, then, his great mouth to view 

Exposing, to his fellows thus exclaim'd : 

" Are ye aware, that he who comes behind 

Moves what he touches ? The feet of the dead 

Are not so wont." My trusty guide, who now 

Stood near his breast, where the two natures join, 

Thus made reply : " He is indeed alive, 

And solitary so must needs by me 

Be shown the gloomy vale, thereto induced 

By strict necessity, not by delight. 

She left her joyful harpings in the sky. 

Who this new office to my care consign'd. 

He is no robber, no dark spirit I. 

But by that virtue, which empowers my step 

To tread so wild a path, grant us, I pray, 

One of thy band, whom we may trust secure, 

Who to the ford may lead us, and convey 

Across, him mounted on his back ; for he 

Is not a spirit that may walk the air." 

Then on his right breast turning, Chiron thus . 
To Nessus^ spake : " Return, and be their guide. 
And if you chance to cross another troop, 
Command them keep aloof." Onward we moved, 
The faithful escort by our side, along 
The border of the crimson-seething flood. 
Whence, from those stcep'd within, loud shrieks arose. 

Some there I mark'd, as high as to their brow 
Immersed, of whom the mighty Centaur thus : 
" These are the souls of tyrants, who were given 
To blood and rapine. Here they wail aloud 
Their merciless wrongs. Here Alexander dwells, 
And Dionysius fell, who many a year 

' Nessus. — Our poet was probably induced, by the 
following line in Ovid, to assign to Nessus the task of 
conducting them over the ford : 

" Nessus adit membrisque valens scitusque vadorum." 

Metamorphoses, 1. ix. 
And Ovid's authority was Sophocles, who says of tais 
centaur — 

"*0f; Tov ^aOvppovv Trorafiov Evqvov /Sporoffi 
MtaQuii iropeve ^ep*^'*' ovre TroixTri^oi^ 
Ku)7Taic ipiatrtiJVy oiJrc Xaiipfatv veuQ" 

Trac/tinia, S7a 
" He in his arms, across Evenus' stream 
Deep-flowing, bore the passenger for hire, 
Without or sail or billow-cleaving oar." 




Of woe wrought for fair Sicily. That brow, 

Whereon the hair so jetty clustering hangs, 

Is Azzolino;' that with flaxen locks 

Obizzo of Este,* in the world destroy 'd 

By his foul step-son." To the bard revered 

I turn'd me round, and thus he spake : " Let him 

Be to thee now first leader, me but next 

To him in rank." Then further on a space 

The Centaur paused, near some, who at the throat 

Were extant from the wave; and, showing us 

A spirit by itself apart retired, 

Exclaim'd : "He^ in God's bosom smote the heart, 

Which yet is honour'd on the bank of Thames." 

A race I next espied who held the head, 
And even all the bust, above the stream. 
'Midst these I many a face remember'd well. 
Thus shallow more and more the blood became, 
So that at last it but imbrued the feet ; 
And there our passage lay athwart the fosse. 

" As ever on this side the boiling wave 
Thou seest diminishing," the Centaur said, 
" So on the other, be thou well assured, 
It lower still and lower sinks its bed, 
Till in that part it re-uniting join, 
Where 'tis the lot of tyranny to mourn. 

' Assolino. — Azzolino, or Ezzolino di Romano, a most 
cruel tyrant in the Marca Trivigiana, Lord of Padua, 
Vicenza, Verona, and Brescia, who died in 1260. His 
atrocities form the subject of a Latin tragedy, called " Ec- 
cerinis," by Albertino Mussato, of Padua, the contem- 
porary of Dante, and the most elegant writer of Latin 
verse of that age. See also the " Paradise," canto ix. ; 
Berni, " Orlando Innamorato," lib. ii., c. xxv., st 50 ; 
Ariosto, " Orlando Furioso," c. iii., st 33 ; and Tassoni, 
" Secchia Raplta," c. viii., st 1 1. 

» Obizzo o/EsU, Marquis of Fer,rara and of the Marca 
d'Ancona, was murdered by his own son (whom, for that 
most unnatural act, Dante calls his step-son) for the sake 
of the treasures which his rapacity had amassed. See 
Ariosto, " Orlando Furioso," c. iii., st 32. He died in 
1293, according to Gibbon, "Ant of the House of Bruns- 
wick," Posthumous Works, v. ii., 4to. 

• He. — " Henrie, the brother of this Edmund, and son 
to the foresaid King of Almaine (Richard, brother of 
Henry II L of England), as he returned from Aflfrike, 

where he had been with Prince Edward, was slain at 
Viterbo in Italy (whither he was come about business 
which he had to do with the Pope), by the hand of Guy de 
Montfort, the son of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, 
in revenge of the same Simon's death. The murther was 
committed afore the high* altar, as the same Henrie 
kneeled there to hear divine service." — a.d 1272. Holin- 
shetTs Chronicles, p. 275. See also G. Villani, "Hist.," 
lib. vii., c xl., where it is said " that the heart of Henry 
was put into a golden cup, and placed on a pillar at 
London Bridge over the river Thames, for a memorial to 
the English of the said outrage." Lombardi suggests that 
" ancor si cola" in the text may mean, not that " the heart 
was still honoured," but that it was put into a perforated 
cup in order that tlie blood dripping from it might excite 
the spectators to revenge. This is surely too improbable. 
" Un poco prima dove piu si stava 

Sicuro Enrico, il conte di Monforte 
L'alma del corpo col coltel gli cava." 
Fasiio degli Uberii, DiUamondo, 1. ii., cap. xxix. 






There Heaven's stern justice lays chastising hand 
On Attila, who was the scourge of earth, 
On Sextus and on Pyrrhus/ and extracts 
Tears ever by the seething flood unlock'd 
From the Rinieri, of Corneto this, 
Pazzo the other named,^ who fill'd the ways 
With violence and war." This said, he turn'd. 
And quitting us, alone re-pass'd the ford^ 

* On Sextus and on Pyrrhus. — Sextus, either the son 
of Tarquin the Proud, or of Pompsy the Great ; and 
Pyrrhus, King of Epirus. 

' The Rinieri, of Corneto thU, Passo the other tiamed. 
— Two noted marauders. The latter was of the noble 
family of Pazzi in Florenca 



Still in the seventh circle, Dante enters its second compartment, which contains both those who have done violence on 
their own persons and those who have violently consumed their goods ; the first changed into rough and knotted trees 
whereon the harpies build their nests, the latter chased and torn by black female mastiffs. Among the former, Piero 
delle Vigne is one who tells him the cause of his having committed suicide, and moreover in what manner the souls 
«re transformed into those trunks. Of the latter crew he recognises Lano, a Siennese, and Giacomo, a Paduan ; and 
Ustly, a Florentine, who had hung himself from his own roof, speaks to him of the calamities of his countrvmen. 

T^ RE Nessus yet had reach 'd the other bank, 

"^^ We entcr'd on a forest,^ where no track 

Of steps had worn a way. Not verdant there 

The foliage, but of dusky hue ; not light 

The boughs and tapering, but with knares deform'd 

And matted thick: fruits there were none, but thorns 

Instead, with venom fiU'd. Less sharp than these, 

Less intricate the brakes, wherein abide 

Those animals, that hate the cultured fields, 

Betwixt Corneto and Cecina's stream.^ 

Here the brute Harpies make their nest, the same 
Who from the Strophades^ the Trojan band 
Drove with dire boding of their future woe. 
Broad are their pennons,* of the human form 
Their neck and countenance, arm'd with talons keen 
The feet, and the huge belly fledge with wings. 
These sit and wail on the drear mystic wood. 

The kind instructor in these words began : 
*' Ere further thou proceed, know thou art now 

' A forest. — " Inde in aliam vallem nimis tcrribiliorem 
deveni plen.imsubtilissimisarboribus in modum hastarum 
sexaginta brachiorum longltudinem habentibus, quarum 
omnium capita, ac si sudes acutissima erant, et spinosa." 
—Alberici Visio, § 4. 

' Betwixt Corneto and Cecina's stream. — A wild and 
woody tract of country, abounding in deer, goats, and wild 
boars. Cecina is a river not far to the south of Legliorn ; 

Corneto, a small city on the same coast, in the patrimony 
of the Church. 

» The Strop/iades.—Ste Virgil, "/Eneid," lib. iii. 210. 

' Broad are their pennons. — 

" Virginei volucrum vultus, foedissima ventris 
Proluvies, uncaeque manus et pallida semper 
Ora fame." 

l^irgil, ^neid, lib. iii. 3i& 




Here the brute Harpies make their nest. 

Canto XIII. , lineW. 

3o-5t. HELL. CANTO XIII. 67 

r th' second round, and shalt be, till thou come 

Upon the horrid sand : look therefore well 

Around thee, and such things thou shalt behold, 

As would my speech discredit." On all sides 

I heard sad plainings breathe, and none could see 

From whom they might have issued. In amaze 

Fast bound I stood. He, as it seem'd, believed 

That I had thought so many voices came 

From some amid those thickets close conceal'd, }' 

And thus his speech resumed : " If thou lop off 

A single twig from one of those ill plants. 

The thought thou hast conceived shall vanish quite." 

Thereat a little stretching forth my hand, 
From a great wilding gather'd V a branch. 
And straight the trunk exclaim'd, " Why pluck'st thou me?" 
Then, as the dark blood trickled down its side, 
These words it added : " Wherefore tear'st me thus ? 
- Is there no touch of mercy in thy breast ? 
Men once were we, that now are rooted here. 
Thy hand might well have spared us, had we been 
The souls of serpents." As a brand yet green, 
That burning at one end from the other sends 
A groaning sound, and hisses with the wind 
That forces out its way, so burst at. once 
Forth from the broken splinter words and blood, 

I, letting fall the bough, remain'd as one 
Assail'd by terror ; and the sage replied : 
" If he, oh, injured spirit ! could have believed 
What he hath seen but in my verse described,' 
He never against thee had stretch 'd his hand. 
But I, because the thing surpass'd belief. 
Prompted him to this deed, which even now 

' Gather'd f.—So Frezzi ; 

" A quelle frasche stesi su la mano, 
E d'una vetta un ramusccl nc colsi ; 
Allora ella grido : oime, fa piano, 
E sangue vivo usci, ond' io lo tolsi." 

' In my verse described. — The commentators explai^ 
this, " If he could have believed, in corvsetiiWn^ of my 
assurances alone, that of *hich^e hath now had ocular 
proof, he would not have stretched lorth his hand against 
thee." But I am of opinion that Dante makes Virgil 
allude to his own story of Polydorus, in the third book of 

// Quadriregto, lib. i., cap. 4. the ".^neid." 




Myself I rue. But tell me who thou wast ; 

That, for this wrong to do thee some amends, 

In the upper world (for thither to return 

Is granted him) thy fame he may revive." 

"That pleasant word of thine,'" the trunk replied, 

" Hath so inveigled me, that I from speech 

Cannot refrain, wherein if I indulge 

A little longer, in the snare detain'd, 

Count it not grievous. I it was,' who held 

Both keys to Frederick's heart, and turn'd the wards, 

Opening and shutting, with a skill so sweet. 

That besides me, into his inmost breast 

Scarce any other could admittance find. 

The faith I bore to my high charge was such, 

It cost me the life-blood that warm'd my veins. 

The harlot,^ who ne'er turn'd her gloating eyes 

From Caesar's household, common vice and pest 

Of courts, 'gainst me inflamed the minds of all; 

And to Augustus they so spread the flame, 

That my glad honours changed to bitter woes. 

My soul, disdainful and disgusted, sought 

Refuge in death from scorn, and I became, 

Just as I was, unjust toward myself. 

By the new roots, which fix this stem, I swear. 

That never faith I broke to my liege lord. 

Who merited such honour ; and of you, 

If any to the world indeed return, 

• 7>a/ pleasant word of thine. — " Since you have in- 
veigled me to speak by holding forth so gratifying an 
expectation, let it not displease you if I am as it were 
detained in the snare you have spread for me, so as to be 
•omewhat prolix in my answer." 

' / it was. — Piero delle Vigne, a tiative of Capua, who 
from a low condition raised himself, by his eloquence and 
legal knowledge, to the office of Chancellor to the Emperor 
Frederick 11.; whose confidence in him was such, that 
his influence in the empire became unbounded. The 
courtiers, envious of his exalted situation, contrived, by 
means of forged letters, to make Frederick believe that lie 
held a secret and traitorous intercourse with the Pope, 
who was then at enmity with the Emperor. In conse- 
quence of this supposed crime, he was cruelly condemned, 

by his too credulous sovereign, to lose his eyes ; and being 
driven to despair by his unmerited calamity and disgrace, 
he put an end to his life by dashing out his brains against 
the walls of a churcli, in the year 1245. Both Frederick 
and Piero delle Vigne composed verses in the Sicilian 
dialect, which are now extant A canzone by each of them 
may be seen in the ninth book of the " Sonetti " and 
" Canzoni di diversi Autori Toscani," published by the 
Giunti in 1527. 

' The harlot. — Envy. Chaucer alludes to this, in the 
Prologue to the " Legende of Good Women :" 

" Envie is lavender to the court alway. 
For she ne parteth neither night ne day 
Out of the house of Cesar: thus saitli Uant" 

79— »J5- HELL. — CANTO XIIL 5o 

Clear he from wrong my memory, that lies 
Yet prostrate under envy's cruel blow." 

First somewhat pausing, till the mournful words 
Were ended, then to me the bard began : 
"Lose not the time; but speak, and of him ask, 
If more thou wish to learn." Whence I replied : 
" Question thou him again of whatsoe'er 
Will, as thou think'st, content me ; for no power 
Have I to ask, such pity is at my heart." 

He thus resumed : "So may he do for thee 
Freely what thou entreatest, as thou yet 
Be pleased, imprison'd spirit! to declare, 
How in these gnarled joints the soul is tied ; 
And whether any ever from such frame 
Be loosen'd, if thou canst, that also tell." 

Thereat the trunk breathed hard, and the wind soon 
Changed into sounds articulate like these : 
" Briefly ye shall be answer'd. When departs 
The fierce soul from the body, by itself 
Thence torn asunder, to the seventh gulf 
By Minos doom'd, into the wood it falls, 
No place assign'd, but wheresoever chance 
Hurls it ; there sprouting, as a grain of spelt, 
It rises to a sapling, growing thence 
A savage plant. The Harpies, on its leaves 
Then feeding, cause both pain, and for the pain 
A vent to grief. We, as the rest, shall come 
For our own spoils, yet not so that with them 
We may again be clad ; for what a man 
Takes from himself it is not just he have. 
Here we perforce shall drag them ; and throughout 
The dismal glade our bodies shall be hung, 
Each on the wild thorn of his wretched shade." 

Attentive yet to listen to the trunk 
We stood, expecting further speech, when us 
A noise surprised ; as when a man perceives 
The wild boar and the hunt approach his place 



1 16—144 

Of station'd watch, who of the beasts and boughs 

Loud rustling round him hears. And, lo ! there came 

Two naked, torn with briers, in headlong flight, 

That they before them broke each fan o' th' wood.i 

" Haste now," the foremost cried, " now haste thee, death I 

The other, as seem'd, impatient of delay, 

Exclaiming, "Lanol* not so bent for speed 

Thy sinews, in the lists of Toppo's field." 

And then, for that perchance no longer breath 

Sufficed him, of himself and of a bush 

One group he made. Behind them was the wood 

Full of black female mastiffs, gaunt and fleet. 

As greyhounds that have newly slipt the leash. 

On him, who squatted down, they stuck their fangs, 

And having rent him piecemeal bore away 

The tortured limbs. My guide then seized my hand, 

And led me to the thicket, which in vain 

Mourn 'd through its bleeding wounds: "O Giacomo 

Of Sant' Andrea P what avails it thee," 

It cried, " that of me thou hast made thy screen ? 

For thy ill life, what blame on me recoils ?" . 

When o'er it he had paused, my master spake : 
" Say who wast thou, that at so many points 
Breathest out with blood thy lamentable speech ?" 

He answer'd : "Oh, ye spirits I arrived in time 
To spy the shameful havoc that from me 
My leaves hath sever'd thus, gather them up, 
And at the foot of their sad parent-tree 
Carefully lay them. In that city* I dwelt. 


' Each/an <f th' wood. — Hence perhaps Milton : 

" Leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan." 

Paradise Lost, b. v. 6. 

Some have translated " rosta " " impediment," instead of 

' Latio! — Lano, a Siennese, who being reduced by pro- 
digality to a state of extreme want, found his existence no 
longer supportable ; and having been sent by his country- 
men on a military expedition to assist the Florentines 
against the Aretini, took that opportunity of exposing 
himself to certain death, in the engagement which took 

place at Toppo, near Arezza See G. Villani, " Hist," lih. 
vii., c. cxix. 

> O Giacomo of Sant' Andrea/ — ^Jacopo da Sant' 
Andrea, a Paduan, who, having wasted his property in the 
most wanton acts of profusion, killed himself in despair. 

* In that city. — " I was an inhabitant of Florence, that 
city which changed her first patron Mars for St John the 
Baptist ; for which reason the vengeance of the deity thus 
slighted will never be appc.iscd ; and if some remains of 
his statue were not still visible on the bridge over the 
Arno, she would have been already levelled to the ground; 
and thus the citizens, who raised her again from the ashes 







Who for the Baptist her first patron changed, 
Whence he for this shall cease not with his art 
To work her woe: and if there still remain'd not 
On Arno's passage some faint glimpse of him, 
Those citizens, who rear'd once more her walls 
Upon the ashes left by Attila, 
^ Had labour'd without profit of their toil. 
I slung the fatal noose ^ from my own roof." 

to which Attila bad reduced her, would have laboured in 
vain." See "Paradise," canto xvi. 44. The relic of 
antiquity, to which the superstition of Florence attached 
»o high an importance, was carried away by a flood, that 
destroyed the bridge on which it stood, in the year 1337, 

but without the ill effects that were apprehended from the 
loss of their fancied Palladium. 

' / slung the fatal noose. — We are not informed who 
this suicide was ; some calling him Rocco de' Mozzi, and 
others Lotto degli Agli. 



They arrive at the beginning of the third of those compartments into which this seventh circle is divided. It is a plain 
of dry and hot sand, where three kinds of violence are punished ; namely, against God, against Nature, and against 
Art ; and those who have thus sinned are tormented by flakes of fire, which are eternally showering down upon 
them. Among the violent against God is found Capaneus, whose blasphemies they hear. Next, turning to the left 
along the forest of self-slayers, and having journeyed a little onwards, they meet with a streamlet of blood that issues 
from the forest and traverses the sandy plain. Here Virgil speaks to our poet of a huge aicient statue that stands 
within Mount Ida in Crete, from a fissure in which statue there is a dripping of tears, from which the said streamlet, 
together with the three other infernal rivers, are formed. 

OOON as the charity of native land 

Wrought in my bosom, I the scatter'd leaves 
Collected, and to him restored, who now 
Was hoarse with utterance. To the limit thence 
We came, which from the third the second round 
Divides, and where of justice is display 'd 
Contrivance horrible. Things then first seen 
Clearlier to manifest, I tell how next 
A plain we reach'd, that from its sterile bed 
Each plant repell'd. The mournful wood waves round 
Its garland on all sides, as round the wood 
Spreads the sad fosse. There, on the very edge, 
Our steps we stay'd. It was an area wide 
Of arid sand and thick, resembling most 
The soil that erst by Cato's foot' was trod. 

Vengeance of heaven I Oh ! how shouldst thou be fear'd 
By all, who read what here mine eyes beheld. 

Of naked spirits many a flock I saw, 
All weeping piteously, to different laws 
Subjected ; for on the earth some lay supine, 
Some crouching close were seated, others paced 

• By Cato's foot.— Set Lucan, ** Pharsalia," libu ix. 

M— 53- HELL. CANTO XIV. yo 

Incessantly around ; the latter tribe 
More numerous, those fewer who beneath 
The torment lay, but louder in their grief. 

O'er all the sand fell slowly wafting down 
Dilated flakes of fire.i as flakes of snow 
On Alpine summit, when the wind is hush'd. 
^ As, in the torrid Indian clime,^ the son 
Of Ammon saw, upon his warrior band 
Descending, solid flames, that to the ground 
Came down; whence he bethought him with his troop 
To trample on the soil ; for easier thus 
The vapour was extinguish'd, while alone: 
So fell the eternal fiery flood, wherewith 
The marie glow'd underneath, as under stove^ 
The viands, doubly to augment the pain. 
Unceasing was the play of wretched hands, 
Now this, now that way glancing, to shake off 
The heat, still falling fresh. I thus began : 
" Instructor I thou who all things overcomest. 
Except the hardy demons that rush'd forth 
To stop our entrance at the gate, say who 
Is yon huge spirit, that, as seems, heeds not 
The burning, but lies writhen in proud scorn, 
As by the sultry tempest immatured ?" 

Straight he himself, who was aware I ask'd 
My guide of him, exclaim'd : " Such as I was 
When living, dead such now I am. If Jove 
Weary his workman out, from whom in ire 
He snatch'd the lightnings, that at my last day 
Transfix'd me ; if the rest he weary out. 
At their black smithy labouring by turns. 
In Mongibello,* while he cries aloud. 

• Dilated flakes of fire. — Compare- Tasso, "Gierusa- 
lemme Liberata," c. k., st 6i : 

" AI fin giungemmo al loco, ove gia scese 
Fiamma del cielo in dilatate falde, 
E di natura vendic6 1' offese 
Sovra la gente in mal oprar si salde." 
' As, in the torrid Indian clime. — Landino refers to 
Albertus Magnus for the circumstance here alluded ta 

' As under stove. — So Frezzi : 

" Si come 1' esca al foco del focile." 

Lib. i., cap. 1 7 
■• In Mongibello. — 

" More liot than yEta' or flaming MongibelL" 

Spenser, Faery Queen, b. ii., c. ix., st 29 
"Siccome alia fucina in Mongibello 
Fabrica tuono il demonio Vulcano, 




'Help, help, good Mulciberl' as erst he cried 
In the Phlegraean warfare ; and the bolts 
Launch he, full aim'd at me, with all his might; 
He never should enjoy a sweet revenge." 

Then thus my guide, in accent higher raised 
Than 1 before had heard him : " Capaneus I 
Thou art more punish'd, in that this thy pride 
Lives yet unquench'd : no torment, save thy rage. 
Were to thy fury pain proportion'd full." 

Next turning round to me, with milder lip 
He spake : " This of the seven kings was one,^ 
Who girt the Theban walls with siege, and held, 
As still he seems to hold, God in disdain, 
And sets his high omnipotence at nought. 
But, as I told him, his despiteful mood 
Ls ornament well suits the breast that wears it. 
Follow me now; and look thou set not yet 
Thy foot in the hot sand, but to the wood 
Keep ever close." Silently on we pass'd 
To where there gushes from the forest's bound 
A little brook, whose crimson'd wave yet lifts 
My hair with horror. As the rill, that runs 
From Bulicame,^ to be portion'd out 
Among the sinful women ; so ran this 
Down through the sand ; its bottom and each bank 
Stone-built, and either margin at its side. 
Whereon I straight perceived our passage lay. 

" Of all that I have shown thee, since that gate 
We enter'd first, whose threshold is to none 
Denied, nought else so worthy of regard, 
As is this river, has thine eye discern'd. 
O'er which the flaming volley all is quench'd.** 

Battc folgori e foco col martello, 
E con esso i suoi fabri in ogni mano." 
lierni, Orlando Innamoralo, lib. i., c. xvi., st 31. 

See Viigil "iCneid," lib. viii. 416. It would be endless 
to refer to parallel passages in the Greek writers. 
' This ofth* seven kings was one. — Compare i&chylus, 

"Seven CHiefs," 425 ; Euripides, " Phoenissas," 1179; 
and Statius, "Thebais," lib. x. 821. 

' Bulicame.—h warm medicinal spring near Viterbo ; the 
waters of which, as Landino and Vellutelli affirm, passed 
by a place of ill fame. Venturi conjectures that Dante 
would imply that it was the scene of much licentious 
merriment among those who frequented its baths. 





So spake my guide; and I him thence besought, 
That having given me appetite to know, 
The food he too would give, that hunger craved. 

" In midst of ocean," forthwith he began, 
"A desolate country lies, which Crete is named; 
Under whose monarch,' in old times, the world 
Lived pure and chaste. A mountain rises there, 
Call'd Ida, joyous once with leaves and streams, 
Deserted now like a forbidden thing. 
It was the spot which Rhea, Saturn's spouse, 
Chose for the secret cradle of her son ; 
And better to conceal him, drown'd in shouts 
His infant cries. Within the mount, upright 
An ancient form there stands, and huge, that turns 
His shoulders towards Damiata; and at Rome, 
As in his mirror, looks. Of finest gold 
His head^ is shaped, pure silver are the breast 
And arms, thence to the middle is of brass. 
And downward all beneath well-temper'd steel, 
Save the right foot of potter's clay, on which 
Than on the other more erect he stands. 
Each part, except the gold, is rent throughout; 
And from the fissure tears distil, which join'd 
Penetrate to that cave. They in their course, 
Thus far precipitated down the rock. 
Form Acheron, and Styx, and Phlegethon ; 
Then by this straiten'd channel passing hence 
Beneath, e'en to the lowest depth of all, 
Form there Cocytus, of whose lake (thyself 
Shalt see it) I here give thee no account." 

Then I to him : " If from our world this sluice 
Be thus derived ; wherefore to us but now 

' Under whose monarch. — 

" Credo pudicitiatn Satumo rege moratam 
In terris." Juvenal, Satires, vL 

"In Saturn's reign, at Nature's early birth, 
There was a thing call'd chastity on earth." 


« His A<farf.— This is imitated by Frewi, in the " Quad- 
riregio," lib. iv., cap. 14 : 

" La statua grande vidi in un gran piano," &c 
" This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his 
arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of 
iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."— Dan. ii. 
32, 33- 

76; THE VISION. ii8-i3«. 

Appears it at this edge?" He straight replied: 

" Tl\e place, thou know'st, is round : and though great part 

Thou have already past, still to the left 

Descending to the nethermost, not yet 

Hast thou the circuit made of the whole orb. 

Wherefore, if aught of new to us appear. 

It needs not bring up wonder in thy looks." 

Then I again inquired : " Where flow the streams 
Of Phlegethon and Lethe ? for of one 
Thou tell'st not ; and the other, of that shower, 
Thou say'st, is forni'd." He answer thus return'd : 
" Doubtless thy questions all well pleased I hear. 
Yet the red seething wave' might have resolved 
One thou proposest. Lethe thou shalt see, 
But not within this hollow, in the place 
Whither,^ to lave themselves, the spirits go, 
Whose blame hath been by penitence removed." 
He added : " Time is now we quit the wood. 
Look thou my steps pursue : the margins give 
Safe passage, unimpeded by the flames ; 
For over them all vapour is extinct." 

' Tk* red seething wave. — This he might have known ' In the plact whither. — On the other side of Pur- 

iwis Phlegethoa gatoiy. 



Talcing their way upon one of the mounds by which the streamlet, spoken of in the last canto, was embanked, and having 
gone so far that they could no longer have discerned the forest if they had turned round to look for it, they meet a 
troop of spirits that come along the sand by the side of the pier. These are they who have done violence to Nature ; 
and amongst them Dante distinguishes nrunetto Latini, who had been formerly his master ; with whom, turning a 
bttle backward, he holds a discourse which occupies the remainder of this canto. 


/^NE of the solid margins bears us now 

^^^ Envelop'd in the mist, that, from the stream 

Arising, hovers o'er, and saves from fire 

Both piers and water. As the Flemings rear 

Their mound, 'twixt Ghent and Bruges, to chase back 

The ocean, fearing his tumultuous tide 

That drives toward them ; or the Paduans theirs 

Along the Brenta, to defend their towns 

And castles, ere the genial warmth be felt 

On Chiarentana's^ top ; such were the mounds, 

So framed, though not in height or bulk to these 

Made equal, by the master, whosoe'er 

He was, that raised them here. We from the wood 

Were now so far removed, that turning round 

I might not have discern 'd it, when we met 

A troop of spirits, who came beside the pier. 

They each one eyed us, as at eventide 
One eyes another under a new moon ; 
And toward us sharpen'd their sight, as keen 
As an old tailor at his needle's eye.^ 

Thus narrowly explored by all the tribe, 

' Ert the gevial wartnth bt felt on Chiarentana^s top. 
— A part of the Alps where the Brenta rises ; which river 
is much swollen as soon as the snow begins to dissolve 
on the mountains. 

' As an old tailor at his needle's eye, — In Fazio degli 

Uberti's " Dittamondo," 1. iv., cap. 4, the tailor is intro- 
duced in a simile scarcely less picturesque : 
" Perch^ tanto mi stringe a qucsto punto 
La lunga tema, ch' io fo come il sarto 
Che quando affretta spesso passa il punta* 



23— a«. 

I was agnised of one, who by the skirt 

Caught me, and cried, "What wonder have we here?' 

And I, when he to me outstretch'd his arm, 
Intently fix'd my ken on his parch'd looks. 
That, although smirch *d with fire, they hinder'd not 
But I remember'd him; and towards his face 
My hand inclining, answer'd : " Ser Brunetto !* 

• BruHefto.—" Ser Brunetto, a Florentine, the secretary 
or chancellor of the city, and Dante's preceptor, hath left 
OS a work so little read, that both the subject of it and the 
language of it have been mistaken. It is in the French 
spoken in the reign of St. Louis, under the title of 'Tresor;' 
and contains a species of philosophical course of lectures 
divided into theory and practice, or, as he expresses it, 
'«« enchausscment des choses divines et humaines^ " &c. — 
Sir R. Clayton's Translation of Tenhove's "Memoirs of 
the Afedici," vol. i., ch. ii., p. 104. The " Tresor " has 
never been printed in the original language. There is 
a fine manuscript of it in the British Museum, with an 
illuminated portrait of Brunetto in his study, prefixed. 
Mus. Brit. MSS. 17, E. I, Tesor. It is divided into four 
books : the first, on Cosmogony and Theology ; the 
second, a translation of Aristotle's Ethics ; the third, on 
Virtues and Vices ; the fourth, on Rhetoric. For an 
interesting memoir relating to this work, see " Hist, de 
I'Acad. dcs Inscriptions," torn vii. 296. His "Tesoretto," 
one of the earliest productions of Italian poetry, is a 
curious work, not unlike the writings of Chaucer in style 
and numbers; though Bembo remarks that his pupil, 
however largely he had stolen from it, could not have 
much enriched himself. As it is perhaps but little known, 
I will here add a slight sketch of it. Brunetto describes 
himself as returning from an embassy to the King of 
Spain, on which he had been sent by the Guelph party 
from Florence. On the plain of Roncesvalles he meets a 
' scholar on a bay mule — 

" Un scolaio 
Sur un mulctto baio" — 
" There a scholar I espied 
On a bay mule that did ride "— 

who tells him that the Guelfi are driven out of the dty 
with great loss. Struck with grief at these mournful 
tidings, and musing with his head bent downwards, he 
loses his road, and wanders into a wood. Here Nature, 
whose figure is described with sublimity, appears, and 
discloses to him the secrets of her operations. After this, 
be wanders into a desert — 

" Deh che paese fiero 
Trovai in quella parte. 

Che s'io sapessi d'arte 
Quivi mi bisognava. 

Che quanto piu mirava 
Pill mi parea selvaggia 

Quivi non a viaggio, 
Quivi non a persone, 

Quivi non a magione. 
Non bestia non uccello, 

Non fiume non ruscello, 
Non formica non mosca, 

Non cosa ch'io conosca. 

Ed io pensando forte 

Dottai ben della morte, 
E non d maraviglia, 

Che ben trecento miglia, 
Durava d'ogni lato, 

Quel paese smagato " — 

" Well-away ! what fearful ground 
In that savage part I found. 
If of art I aught could ken, 
Well behoved me use it then. 
More I look'd, the more I deem'd 
That it wild and desert seem'd. 
Not a road was there in sight, 
Not a house, and not a wight : 
Not a bird, and not a brute. 
Not a rill, and not a root ; 
N ot an emmet, not a fly. 
Not a thing I mote descry 
Sore I doubted therewithal 
Whether death would me befall ; 
Nor was wonder, for around 
Full three hundred miles of groimd 
Right across on every side 
Lay the desert bare and wide "— 

and proceeds on his way, under the protection of a 
banner with which Nature had furnished him, till on the 
third day he finds himself in a pleasant champaign, where 
are assembled many emperors, kings, and sages : 

" Un gran piano giacondo 
Lo piu gajo del mondo 
E lo pid degnitoso." 
"Wide and far the champaign lay, 
None in all the earth so gay." 

It is the habitation of Virtue and her daughters, the four 
Cardinal Virtues. Here Brunetto sees also Courtesy, 
Bounty, Loyalty, and Prowess, and hears the instructions 
they give to a knight, which occupy about a fourth part of 
the poem. Leaving this territory, he passes over valleys, 
mountains, woods, forests, and bridges, till he arrives in 
a beautiful valley covered with flowers on all sides, and 
the richest in the world ; but which was continually 
shifting its appearance from a round figure to a square, 
from obscurity to light, and from populousness to solitude. 
This is the region of Pleasure, or Cupid, who is accom- 
panied by four ladies— Love, Hope, Fear, and Desire. In 
one part of it he meets with Ovid, and is instructed by 
him how to conquer the passion of love, and to escape 
from that place. After his escape, he makes his confes- 
sion to a friar, and then returns to the forest of visions ; 
and, ascending a mountain, meets with Ptolemy, a vene- 
rable old man. Here the narrative breaks off. The poem 
ends, as it began, with an address to Kustico di Filippo, 
on whom he lavishes every sort of praise. It has been 







:ANT0 XV. 


And are ye here?" He thus to me: "My son I 
Oh, let it not displease thee, if Brunetto : I . 
Latini but a little space with thee 
Turn back, and leave his fellows to proceed." 
I thus to him replied: "Much as I can, 
I thereto pray thee ; and if thou be willing 
That I here seat me with thee, I consent ; 
His leave, with whom I journey, first obtain'd.*' 

"Oh, son!" said he, "whoever of this throng 
One instant stops, lies then a hundred years, 
No fan to ventilate him, when the fire 
Smites sorest. Pass thou therefore on. I close 
Will at thy garments walk, and then rejoin 
My troop, who go mourning their endless doom."- 

I dared not from the path descend to tread 
On equal ground with him, but held my head 
Bent down, as one who walks in reverent guise. 

"What chance or destiny," thus he began, 
" Ere the last day, conduces thee here below ? 
And who is this that shows to thee the way?" 
" There up aloft," I answer'd, " in the life 
Serene, I wander'd in a valley lost, 
Before mine age' had to its fulness reach 'd. 
But yester-morn I left it: then once more 
Into that vale returning, him I met ; 
And by this path homeward he leads me back." 
" If thou," he answer'd, " follow but thy star, 

observed that Dante derived the idea of opening his 
poem, by describing himself as lost in a wood, from the 
"Tesoretto" of his master. I know not whether it has 
been remarked that the crime of usury is branded by 
both these poets as offensive to God and Nature : 

" Un altro, che non cura 

Di Dio ne di Natursi, 

Si diventa usuriere " — 

"One, that holdeth not in mind 

Law of God or Nature's kind, 

Taketb him to usury " — 

or that the sin for which Brunetto is condemned by his 
pupil is mentioned in his "Tesoretto " with great horror. 
IJut see what is said on this subject by I'erticari, " Degli 
Scrittori del Trecento,'' L i., c. iv. Dante's twenty-fifth 

sonnet is a jocose one, addressed to Brunetto, of which a 
translation is inserted in the Life of Dante, prefixed. He 
died in 1291. G. Villani sums up his account of him by 
saying thai he was himself a worldly man ; but that he 
was the first to refine the Florentines from their grossness, 
and to instruct them in speaking properly, and in con- 
ducting the affairs of the republic on principles of policy. 
' Before mine age. — On the whole, Vellutello's explana- 
tion of this is, I think, most satisfactory. He supposes it 
to, " before the appointed end of his life was ar- 
rived—before his days were accomplished." Lombardi, 
concluding that the fulness of age must be the same as 
' "the midway of this our mortal life " (see canto i., v. i), 
understands that he had lost himself in the wood before 
that time, and that he then only discovered his having 
gone astray. 

8o THE VISION. 56-89. 

Thou canst not miss at last a glorious haven; 
Unless in fairer days my judgment err'd. 
. And if my fate so early had not chanced, 
Seeing the heavens thus bounteous to thee, I 
Had gladly given thee comfort in thy work. 
But that ungrateful and malignant race, 
Who in old times came down from Fesole,' 
Ay and still smack of their rough mountain-flint, 
Will for thy good deeds show thee enmity. 
Nor wonder ; for amongst ill-savour'd crabs 
It suits not the sweet fig-tree lay her fruit. 
Old fame reports them in the world for blind," 
Covetous, envious, proud. Look to it well : 
Take heed thou cleanse thee of their ways. For thee, 
Thy fortune hath such honour in reserve. 
That thou by either party shalt be craved 
With hunger keen : but be the fresh herb far 
From the goat's tooth. The herd of Fesole 
May of themselves make litter, not touch the plant, 
If any such yet spring on their rank bed. 
In which the holy seed revives, transmitted 
From those true Romans, who still there remain'd, 
When it was made the nest of so much ill." 

"Were all my wish fulfill'd," I straight replied, 
" Thou from the confines of man's nature yet 
Hadst not been driven forth ; for in my mind 
Is fix'd, and now strikes full upon my heart, 
The dear, benign, paternal image, such 
As thine was, when so lately thou didst teach me 
The way for man to win eternity : 
And how I prized the lesson, it behoves, 
That, long as life endures, my tongue should speak. 
What of my fate thou tell'st, that write I down ; 
And, with another text* to comment on. 

« Feiel*.—See G. Villani, " Hist.," lib. iv., cap. v., and 
Macchiavelli, "History of Florence." b. ii. 

' Blind.— \\. is said that the Florentines were thus 
called, in consequence of their having been deceived by 

a shallow artifice practised on them by the Pisans, in the 
year ii 17. See G. Villani, lib. iv., cap. xxx. 

• With another texl.—Wt refers to the prediction ol 
Farinata, in canto x. 

90 — ii8. 


:ANT0 XV. 



For her I keep it, the celestial dame, 
Who will know all, if I to her arrive. 
This only would I have thee clearly note : 
That, so my conscience have no plea against me, 
Do Fortune as she list, I stand prepared. 
Not new or strange such earnest to mine ear. 
Speed Fortune then her wheel, as likes her best ; 
The clown his mattock ; all things have their course." 

Thereat my sapient guide upon his right 
Turn'd himself back, then looked at me, and spake: 
" He listens to good purpose who takes note." 

1 not the less still on my way proceed, 
Discoursing with Brunetto, and inquire 
Who are most known and chief among his tribe. 

"To know of some is well;" he thus replied, 
*' But of the rest silence may best beseem. 
Time would not serve us for report so long. 
In brief I tell thee, that all these were clerks, 
Men of great learning and no less renown, 
By one same sin polluted in the world. 
With them is Priscian;' and Accorso's son, 
Francesco,^ herds among that wretched throng : 
And, if the wish of so impure a blotch 
Possess'd thee, him'' thou also mightst have seen, 
Who by the servants' servant* was transferr'd 
From Arno's seat to Bacchiglione, where 
His ill-strain'd nerves he left. I more would add, 
But must from further speech and onward way 
Alike desist ; for yonder I behold 

' Priset'an. —ThcTe is no reason to believe, as the 
commentators observe, that the grammarian of this name 
was stained wiih the vice imputed to him ; and we must 
therefore suppose that Dante puts the individual for the 
species, and implies the frequency of the crime among 
those who abused the opportunities which the education 
of youth afforded them, to so abominable a purpose. 

' Francesco. — Accorso, a Florentine, interpreted the 
Roman law at Bologna, and died in 1229, at the age 
of seventy-eight. His authority was so great as to 
exceed that of all the other interpreters, so that Cino 
da Pistoia termed him the " Idol of Advocates." His 
sepulchre, and that of his son Francesco, here spoken 

of, is at Bologna, with this short epitaph : "Sepulcrum 
Accursii Glossatoris et Francisci ejus Filii." See Guidi 
Panziroli, " De Claris Legum Interpretibus," lib. ii., cap. 
xxix., Lips., 4to, 1721. 

' Him. — Andrea de' Mozzi, who, that his scandalous 
life might be less exposed to observation, was translated 
either by Nicholas III. or Boniface VIII. from the see of 
Florence to that of Vicenza, through which passes the 
river Bacchiglione. At the latter of these places he died. 

* The servants servant.S&r\o de' servi. So Aiiosto, 
Sat. iiL : 

" Degli servi 
lo sia il gran servo." 



119— lad 

A mist new-risen on the sandy plain. 
A company, with whom I may not sort, 
Approaches. I commend my Treasure to thee,* 
Wherein I yet survive ; my sole request." 

This said, he turn'd, and seem'd as one of those 
Who o'er Verona's champaign try their speed 
For the green mantle ; and of them he seem'd, 
Not he who loses but who gains the prize. . 

' / commend my Treantre to thee. — Brunetto's great 
work, the " Tresor . " 

" Sieti raccomandato il mio Tesoro." 

So Giusto de' Conti, in his "Bella Mano," Son. 
"Occhi :" 

" Siavi raccommandaco il mio Tesoro." 




Journeying along the pier, which crosses the sand, they are now so near the end of it as to hear the noise of the stream 
falling into the eighth circle, when they meet the spirits of three military men ; who judging Dante, from his dress, 
to be a countryman of theirs, entreat him to stop. He complies, and speaks with them. The two poets then 
reach the place where the water descends, being the termination of this third compartment in the seventh circle; 
and here Virgil having thrown down into the hollow a cord, wherewith Dante was girt, they behold at that signal 
a monstrous and horrible figure come swimming up to them. 

XT OW came I where the water's din was heard, 

As down it fell into the other round, 
Resounding like the hum of swarming bees : 
When forth together issued from a troop, 
That pass'd beneath the fierce tormenting storm, 
Three spirits, running swift- They towards us came. 
And each one cried aloud, " Oh I do thou stay, 
Whom, by the fashion of thy garb, we deem 
To be some inmate of our evil land." 

Ah me I what wounds I mark'd upon their limbs, 
Recent and old, inflicted by the flames. 
E'en the remembrance of them grieves me yet. 

Attentive to their cry, my teacher paused. 
And turn'd to me his visage, and then spake : 
" Wait now : our courtesy these merit well ; 
And were 't not for the nature of the place, 
Whence glide the fiery darts, I should have said, 
That haste had better suited thee than them." 

They, when we stopp'd, resumed their ancient wail, 
And, soon as they had reach'd us, all the three 
Whirl'd round together in one restless wheel. 
As naked champions, smear 'd with slippery oil 
Are wont, intent, to watch their place of hold 
And vantage, ere in closer strife they meet; 




Thus each one, as he wheel'd, his countenance 

At me directed, so that opposite 

The neck moved ever to the twinkling feet. 

" If woe of this unsound and dreary waste," 
Thus one began, " added to our sad cheer 
Thus peel'd with flame, do call forth scorn on us 
And our entreaties, let our great renown 
Incline thee to inform us who thou art, 
That dost imprint, with living feet unharm'd, 
The soil of Hell. He, in whose track thou seest 
My steps pursuing, naked though he be 
And reft of all, was of more high estate 
Than thou believest; grandchild of the chaste 
Gualdrada,' him they Guidoguerra call'd, 
Who in his lifetime many a noble act* 
Achieved, both by his wisdom and his sword. 
The other, next to me that beats the sand, 
Is Aldobrandi,^ name deserving well. 
In the 'upper world, of honour ; and myself, 
Who in this torment do partake with them, 

• Gualdrada. — Gualdrada was the daughter of Bel- 
tincione Berti, of whom mention is made in the " Para- 
dise," canto XV. and xvi. He was of the family of 
Ravignani, a branch of the Adimari. The Emperor 
Otho IV., being at a festival in Florence where Gualdrada 
was present, was struck with her beauty; and inquiring 
who she was, was answered by Bellincione that she was 
the daughter of one who, if it was His Majesty's pleasure, 
would make her admit the honour of his salute. On 
overhearing this, she arose from her seat, and blushing, 
in an animated tone of voice, desired her father that he 
would not be so liberal in his offers, for that no man 
should ever be allowed that freedom except him who 
should be her lawful husband. The emperor was not 
Jess delighted by her resolute modesty than he had before 
been by the loveliness of her person ; and calling to him 
Guido, one of his barons, gave her to him in marriage, at 
the same time raising him to the rank of a count, and 
bestowing on her the whole of Casentino, and a part of 
the territory of Romagna, as her portion. Two sons were 
the offspring of this union, Gug'.ielino and Ruggieri ; the 
bttcr of whom was father of Guidoguerra, a man of great 
military skill and prowess, who, at the head of four hun- 
dred Florentines of the Guelph party, was signally instru- 
mental to the victory obtained at Benevento by Charles 
of Anjou, over Manfredi, King of Naples, in 1265. One 
of the consequences of this victory was the expulsion of 
the Ghibellini, and the re-establishment of the Guelfi at 
Florence. Borghini ("Disc, dell' Grig, di Firenze," ediz. 

1755, p. 6), as cited by Lombard!, endeavours by a com- 
parison of dates to throw discredit on the above relation 
of Gualdrada's answer to her father, which is found in 
G. Villani, lib. v.^ c. xxxvii. : and Lombardi adds, that if 
it had been true, Bellincione would have been worthy of a 
place in the eighteenth canto of " Hell," rather than of 
being mentioned with praise in the " Paradise :" to which 
it may be answered, that the proposal of the father, how- 
ever irreconcileable it may be to our notions of modern 
refinement, might possibly in those times have been 
considered rather as a sportive sally than as a serious 
exposure of his daughter's innocence. The incident is 
related, in a manner very unfavourable to Berti, by Fran- 
cesco Sansovino, in one of his " Novelle," inserted by 
Mr. Thomas Roscoe in his entertaining selection from 
the Italian novelists, v. iii., p. 137. 
' Many a noble act. — 

" Molto egli opr6 col senno e con la mano." 

Tasso, GierHsalemme Liberata, c. i., st I. 

• Aldobrandi. — Tegghiaio Aldobrandi was of the noble 
family of Adimari, and much esteemed for his military 
talents. He endeavoured to dissuade the Florentines 
from the attack which they meditated against the Sieii- 
nese; and the rejection of his counsel occasioned the 
memorable defeat which the former sustained at Mcnta- 
perto, and the consequent banishment of the Guelfi from 


«— 7*. 



Am Rusticucci,' whom, past doubt, my wife, 
Of savage temper, more than aught beside 
Hath to this evil brought." If from the fire 
I had been shelter 'd, down amidst them straight 
I then had cast me ; nor my guide, I deem, 
Would have restrain'd my going : but that fear 
Of the dire burning vanquish'd the desire, 
Which made me eager of their wish'd embrace. 

I then began : " Not scorn, but grief much more, 
Such as long time alone can cure, your doom 
Fix'd deep within me, soon as this my lord 
Spake words, whose tenor taught me to expect 
That such a race, as ye are, was at hand. 
I am a countryman of yours, who still 
Affectionate have utter'd, and have heard 
Your deeds and names renown'd. Leaving the gall. 
For the sweet fruit I go, that a sure guide 
Hath promised to me. But behoves, that far 
As to the centre first I downward tend." 

" So may long space thy spirit guide thy limbs," 
He answer straight return'd ; " and so thy fame 
Shine bright when thou art gone, as thou shalt tell, 
If courtesy and valour, as they wont, 
Dwell in our city, or have vanish'd clean: 
For one amidst us late condemn'd to wail, 
Borsiere,'' yonder walking with his peers. 
Grieves us no little by the news he brings." 

" An upstart multitude and sudden gains, 
Pride and excess, O Florence ! have in thee 
Engender'd, so that now in tears thou mourn'st 1" 

Thus cried I, with my face upraised, and they 
All three, who for an answer took my words, 
Look'd at each other, as men look when truth 
Comes to their ear. " If at so little cost,"* 

' Rusticucci. — Giacopo Rusticucci, a Florentine, re- 
markable for his opulence and the generosity of his 

• Boriiere. — Guglielmo Borsiere, another Florentine. 

whom Boccaccio, in a story which he relates of him, terms 

"a man of courteous and elegant manners, and of great 

readiness in conversation." — Decameron, Giorn.i., Nov. 8. 

* At so little cost. — They intimate to our poet (as Lom- 




They all at once rejoin'd, " thou satisfy 
Others who question thee, oh happy thou I 
-Gifted with words so apt to speak thy thought. 
Wherefore, if thou escape this darksome clime, 
Returning to behold the radiant stars, 
When thou with pleasure shalt retrace the past,* 
See that of us thou speak among mankind." 

This said, they broke the circle, and so swift 
Fled, that as pinions seem'd their nimble feet. 

Not in so short a time might one have said 
"Amen," as they had vanish'd. Straight my guide 
Pursued his track. I follow'd : and small space 
Had we past onward, when the water's sound 
Was now so near at hand, that we had scarce 
Heard one another's speech for the loud din. 

E'en as the river,- that first holds its course 
Unmingled, from the Mount of Vesulo, 
On the left side of Apennine, toward 
The east, which Acquacheta higher up 
They call, ere it descend into the vale, 
At Forli,^ by that name no longer known, 
Rebellows o'er Saint Benedict, roll'd on 
From the Alpine summit down a precipice. 
Where space* enough to lodge a thousand spreads ; 
Thus downward ' from a craggy steep we found 
That this dark wave resounded, roaring loud, 
So that the ear its clamour soon had stunn'd. 

I had a cord* that braced my girdle round. 
Wherewith I erst had thought fast bound to take 

bardi well observes) the inconveniences to. which his 
freedom of speech was about to expose him in the future 
course of his life. 
' IVAen thou with pleasure shalt retrace the past. — 
" Quando ti giovcri dicere io fui." 
So Tasso, " Gierusalemme Liberata," c. xv., st. 38 : 
" Quando mi giovera narrar altrui 
Le novita vedute, e dire ; io fui." 
' E'en as the river. — He compares the fall of Phle- 
gethon to that of the Montone (a river in Romagna) from 
the Apennine above the Abbey of St. Benedict. All the 
other streams that rise between the sources of the Po and 
the Montone, and fall from the left side of the Apennine, 
join the Po. and accompany it to the sea. 

^ At Fnrlt. — Because there it loses the name of Acqua- 
cheta, and takes that of Montone. 

* Where space. — Either because the abbey was capable 
of containing more than those who occupied it, or because 
(says Landino) the lords of thnt territory, as Boccaccio 
related on the authority of the abbot, had intended to 
build a castlft near the water-fall, and to collect within its 
walls the population of the neighbouring villages. 

• A cord. — This passage, as it is confessed by Landino, 
involves a fiction sufficiently obscure. His own attempt 
to unravel it does not much lessen the difficulty. That 
which Lombardi has made is something better. It is 
believed that our poet, in the earlier part of his life, had 
entered into the order of St. Francis. By observing the 

io8— 134. 



The painted leopard. This when I had all 
Unloosen 'd from me (so my master bade) 
I gather'd up, and stretch'd it forth to him. 
Then to the right he turn'd, and from the brink 
Standing few paces distant, cast it down* 
Into the deep abyss. " And somewhat strange," 
Thus to myself I spake, "signal so strange 
Betokens, which my guide with earnest eye 
Thus follows." Ah I what caution must men use 
With those who look not at the deed alone. 
But spy into the thoughts with subtle skill. ^ 

"Quickly shall come," he said, "what I expect; 
Thine eye discover quickly that, whereof 
Thy thought is dreaming." Ever to that truth,** 
Which but the semblance of a falsehood wears, 
A man, if possible, should bar his lip ; 
Since, although blameless, he incurs reproach. 
But silence here were vain ; and by these notes,' 
Which now I sing, reader, I swear to thee. 
So may they favour find to latest times ! 
That through the gross and murky air I spied 
A shape come swimming up, that might have quell'd 
The stoutest heart with wonder ; in such guise 
As one returns, who hath been down to loose 
An anchor grappled fast against some rock. 
Or to aught else that in the salt wave lies, 
Who, upward springing, close draws in his feet. 

rules of that profession, he had designed to mortify his 
carnal appetites, or, as he expresses it, "to take the 
painted leopard " (that animal, which, as we have seen in 
a note to the first canto, represented Pleasure) " with this . 
cord." This part of the habit he is now desired by Virgil 
to take off; and it is thrown down the gulf, to allure 
Geryon to them with the expectation of carrying down one 
who had cloaked his iniquities under the garb of penitence 
and self-mortification ; and thus (to apply to Dante on 
this occasion the words of Milton) — 

" He, as Franciscan, thought to pass disguised." 
' But spy into the thoughts with subtle skill. — 
" Sorrise Uranio, che per entro vede 
Gli altrui pensier col senno." 

Xfenzini, Sonetlo. Mentre to dormia. 
* Ever to that truth. — This memorable apophthegm is 
repeated by Luigi Pulci and Trissino : 

" Sempre a quel ver, ch' ha faccia di menzogna, 
E piu senno tacer la lingua cheta, 
Che spesso senza colpa fa vergogna." 

Morgante Maggiore, c. xxiv 
" La verita, che par mensogna, 
Si dovrebbe tacer dall' uom ch' i saggio." 

Italia Lib., c. xvi. 
• By these notes. — So Frezzi : 

" Per queste rime mie, letter, ti giuro." 

// Quadriregio, lib. iii., cap. 16. 
In like manner, Pindar confirms his veracity by an oath : 

** 'Sal fiA ydp^OpKOVj e^iv So^av." 

Nem., xi. 30 ; 
which is imitated, as usual, by Chiabrera : 
" Ed io Umgo il Permesso 
Sacro alle Muse oblighero mia fede." 

Canz. Eroiche, xliii. 75. 



The monster Geryon is described ; to whom while Virgil is speaking in order that he may carry them both down to 
the next circle, Dante, by permission, goes a little further along the edge of the void, to descry the third species 
of sinners contained in this compartment, namely, those who have done violence to i\xt ; and then returning to 
bis master, they both descend, seated on the back of Geryon. 

"TO! the fell monster^ with the deadly sting, 
■^ Who passes mountains, breaks through fenced walls 
And firm embattled spears, and with his filth 
Taints all the world." Thus me my guide address'd, 
And beckon'd him, that he should come to shore, 
Near to the stony causeway's utmost edge. 

Forthwith that image vile of Fraud appear'd, 
His head and upper part exposed on land, 
But laid not on the shore his bestial train. 
His face the semblance of a just man's wore, 
So kind and gracious was its outward cheer; 
The rest was serpent all : two shaggy claws 
Reach'd to the arm-pits ; and the back and breast, 
And either side, were painted o'er with nodes 
And orbits. Colours variegated more 
Nor Turks nor Tartars e'er on cloth of state 
With interchangeable embroidery wove. 
Nor spread Arachne o'er her curious loom. 
As oft-times a light skiff, moor'd to the shore, 
Stands part in water, part upon the land ; 
Or, as where' dwells the greedy German boor, 
The beaver settles, watching for his prey; 
So on the rim, that fenced the sand with rock, 
Sat perch'd the fiend of evil. In the void 

• The fell monsUr,—¥ta.vA. 

p. 88. 

Forthwith that image vile of Fraud appear'd. 

Canto XVII., lint 7. 


25-58. HELL. — CANTO XVII. gg 

Glancing, his tail upturn'd its venomous fork, 

With sting like scorpion's arm'd. Then thus my guide; 

" Now need our way must turn few steps apart, 

Far as to that ill beast, who couches there." 

Thereat, toward the right our downward course 
We shaped, and, better to escape the flame 
And burning marie, ten paces on the verge 
Proceeded. Soon as we to him arrive, 
A little further on mine eye beholds 
A tribe of spirits, seated on the sand 
Near to the void. Forthwith my master spake: 
" That to the full thy knowledge may extend 
Of all this round contains, go now, and mark 
The mien these wear : but hold not long discourse. 
Till thou returnest, I with him meantime 
Will parley, that to us he may vouchsafe 
The aid of his strong shoulders." Thus alone, 
Yet forward on the extremity I paced 
Of that seventh circle, where the mournful tribe 
Were seated. At the eyes forth gush'd their pangs. 
Against the vapours and the torrid soil 
Alternately their shifting hands they plied. 
Thus use the dogs in summer still to ply 
Their jaws and feet by turns, when bitten sore 
By gnats, or flies, or gadflies swarming round. 

Noting the visages of some, who lay 
Beneath the pelting of that dolorous fire, 
One of them all I knew not ; but perceived, 
That pendent from his neck each bore a pouch' 
With colours and with emblems various mark'd, 
On which it seem'd as if their eye did feed. 

And when, amongst them, looking round I came, 
A yellow purse^ I saw with azure wrought, 
That wore a lion's countenance and port. 

♦ A pouch. — A purse, whereon the armorial bearings of 
each were emblazoned. According to Landino, our poet 
implies that the usurer can pretend to no other honour 
than such as he derives from his purse and his family. 

The description of persons by their heraldic insignia is 
remarkable on several occasions in this poem. 

' A yellow purse. — The arms of the Gianfigliazzi of 





Then, still my sight pursuing its career, 

Another' I beheld, than blood more red, 

-A goose display of whiter wing than curd. 

And one who bore a fat and azure swine* 

Pictured on his white scrip, address'd me thus : 

" What dost thou in this deep ? Go now and know, 

Since yet thou livest, that my neighbour here 

Vitaliano* on my left shall sit. 

A Paduan with these Florentines am I. 

Oft-times they thunder in mine ears, exclaiming, 

'Ohl haste that noble knight,* he who the pouch 

With the three goats^ will bring.'" This said, he writhed 

The mouth, and loll'd the tongue out, like an ox 

That licks his nostrils, I, lest longer stay 

He ill might brook, who bade me stay not long. 

Backward my steps from those sad spirits turn'd. 

My guide already seated on the haunch 
Of the fierce animal I found ; and thus 
He me encouraged. " Be thou stout : be bold. 
Down such a steep flight must we now descend. 
Mount thou before : for, that no power the tail 
May have to harm thee, I will be i' th' midst." 

As one,^ who hath an ague fit so near, 
His nails already are turn'd blue, and he 
Quivers all o'er, if he but eye the shade ; 
Such was my cheer at hearing of his words. 
But shame' soon interposed her threat, who makes 
The servant bold in presence of his lord. 

' Another. — Those of the Ubbiiachi, another Florentine 
family of high distinction. 

' A fat and azure swine. — The arms of the Scrovigni, 
a noble family of Padua. 

• K»/a//Vj««.— Vitaliano del Dente, A Paduan. 

• 7"/r«/«oW<r^'«/>/i/.— Giovanni BujSmonti,a Florentine 
usurer, the most infamous of his time. 

• <J(7<7/j.— Monti, in his " Proposta," had introduced a 
facetious dialogue, on the supposed mistake made in the 

. interpretation of this word " becchi " by the compilers of 
the Delia Crusca Dictionar)-, who translated it " goats," 
instead of "beaks." He afterwards saw his own error, 
and had the ingenuousness to confess it in the Appendix, 
p. 374. Having in the former editions of this work been 

betrayed into the same misunderstanding of my author, 
I cannot do less than follow so good an example, by 
acknowledging and correcting it. 

' As one. — Dante trembled with fear, like a man who, 
expecting the return of a quartan ague, shakes even at 
the sight of a place made cool by the shade. 

' But shame. — 1 have followed the reading in Vellu- 
tello's edition : 

" Ma vergogna mi fe le sue minacce ;" 
which appears preferable to the common one, 
" Ma vergogna mi fer," &c. 

It is necessary that I should observe this, because it has 
been imputed to me as a mistake. 

/• '/>• 

New terror 1 conceived at the steep plunge. 

Canto XVII., Hue 117. 

87-1 Ji. HELL.— CANTO XVII. 9I 

I settled me upon those shoulders huge, 
And would have said, but that the words to aid 
My purpose came not, " Look thou clasp me firm." 

But he whose succour then not first I proved, 
Soon as I mounted, in his arms aloft, 
Embracing, held me up; and thus he spake: 
" Geryon ! now move thee : be thy wheeling gyres 
Of ample circuit, easy thy descent. 
Think on the unusual burden thou sustain'st." 

As a small vessel, backening out from land, 
Her station quits; so thence the monster loosed, 
And, when he felt himself at large, turn'd round 
There, where the breast had been, his forked tail. 
Thus, like an eel, outstretch'd at length he steer'd, 
Gathering the air up with retractile claws. 

Not greater was the dread, when Phaeton ^ 

The reins let drop at random, whence high heaven, 
Whereof signs yet appear, was wrapt in flames; 
Nor when ill-fated Icarus perceived. 
By liquefaction of the scalded wax. 
The trusted pennons loosen'd from his loins, 
His sire exclaiming loud, " 141 way thou keep'st," 
Than was my dread, when round me on each part 
The air I view'd, and other object none 
Save the fell beast. He, slowly sailing, wheels 
His downward motion, unobserved of me. 
But that the wind, arising to my face. 
Breathes on me from below. Now on our right 
I heard the cataract beneath us leap 
With hideous crash ; whence bending down to explore, 
New terror I conceived at the steep plunge ; 
For flames I saw, and wailings smote mine ear: 
So that, all trembling, close I crouch'd my limbs, 
And then distinguish'd, unperceived before. 
By the dread torments that on every side 
Drew nearer, how our downward course we wound. 

As falcon, that hath long been on the wing. 

92 Tim VISION. 124—133 

But lure nor bird hath seen, while in despair 

The falconer cries, "Ah me I thou stoop'st to earth," 

Wearied descends, whence nimbly he arose 

In many an airy wheel, and lighting sits 

At distance from his lord in angry mood ; 

So Geryon lighting places us on foot 

Low down at base of the deep-furrow'd rock, 

And, of his burden there discharged, forthwith 

Sprang forward, like an arrow from the string. 



The poet describes the situation and form of the eighth circle, divided into ten gulfs, which contain as many different 
descriptions of fraudulent sinners ; but in the present canto he treats only of two sorts : the first is of those who, 
either for their own pleasure or for that of another, have seduced any woman from her duty ; and these are scourged 
of demons in the first gulf : the other sort is of flatterers, who in the second gulf are condemned to remain immersed 

in filth. 

npHERE is a place within the depths of hell 
Call'd Malebolge, all of rock dark-stain'd 
With hue ferruginous, e'en as the steep 
That round it circling winds. Right in the midst 
Of that abominable region yawns 
A spacious gulf profound, whereof the frame 
Due time shall tell. The circle, that remains, 
Throughout its round, between the gulf and base 
Of the high craggy banks, successive forms 
Ten bastions, in its hollow bottom raised. 

As where, to guard the walls, full many a fosse 
Begirds some stately castle, sure defence' 
Affording to the space within ; so here 
Were modell'd these: and as like fortresses, 
E'en from their threshold to the brink without. 
Are flank'd with bridges ; from the rock's low base 
Thus flinty paths advanced, that 'cross the moles 
And dikes struck onward far as to the gulf, 

' Sure defence. — 

" La parte dov' e' son rendon sicura." 
This is the common reading ; besides which there are 
two others : 


" La parte dove il sol rende figura ;" 

" La parte dov' ei son rende figura : " 
the former of which two, Lombard! says, is found in 
Daniello's edition, printed at Venice, 1568; in that printed 
in the same city with the commentaries of Landino and 

Vellutello, 1572 ; and also in some MSS. The latter, 
which has very much the appearance of being genuine, 
was adopted by Lombardi himself, on the authority of a 
text supposed to be in the handwriting of Filippo Villani, 
but so defaced by the alterations made in it by some less 
slcilful hand, that the traces of the old ink were with 
difficulty recovered ; and it has, since the publication of 
Lombardi's edition, been met with also in the Monte 
Casino MS. Monti is decided in favour of Lombdrdi's 
reading, and Biagioli opposed to it. 




That in one bound collected cuts them off. 
Such was the place, wherein we found ourselves 
From Geryon's back dislodged. The bard to left 
Held on his way, and I behind him moved. 

On our right hand new misery I saw, 
New pains, new executioners of wrath, 
That swarming peopled the first chasm. Below 
Were naked sinners. Hitherward they came, 
Meeting our faces, from the middle point ; 
With us beyond,' but with a larger stride. 
E'en thus the Romans,* when the year returns 
Of Jubilee, with better speed to rid 
The thronging multitudes, their means devise 
For such as pass the bridge; that on one side 
All front toward the castle, and approach 
Saint Peter's fane, on the other towards the mount. 

Each diverse way, along the grisly rock, 
Horn'd demons I beheld, with lashes huge, 
That on their back unmercifully smote. 
Ah I how they made them bound at the first stripe I 
None for the second waited, nor the third. 

Meantime, as on I pass'd, one met my sight. 
Whom soon as view'd, " Of him," cried I, " not yet 
Mine eye hath had his fill." I therefore stay'd^ 
My feet to scan him, and the teacher kind 
Paused with me, and consented I should walk 
Backward a space ; and the tormented spirit. 
Who thought to hide him, bent his visage down. 
But it avail'd him nought ; for I exclaim'd : 
"Thou who doth cast thine eye upon the ground, 
Unless thy features do belie thee much, 

' Beyond, — Beyond the middle point they tended the 
tame way with us, but their pace was quicker than ours. 

' Een thus the Romans. — In the year 1300, Pope 
Boniface VIII., to remedy the mconvenience occasioned 
by the press of people who were passing over the bridge 
of St Angclo during the time of the Jubilee, caused it to 
be divided lengthwise by a partition ; and ordered that 
all those who were gomg to St. Peter's should keep one 
side, and those returning the other. G. Villani, who was 

present, describes the order that was preserved, lib. viii., 
c. xxxvi. It was at this time, and on this occasion, as 
the honest historian tells us, that he first conceived the 
design of " con-.piling his book." 

• / therefore stayd. — " I piedi affissi " is the reading of 
the Nidobeatina edition ; but Lomb.-irdi is under an error 
when he tells us that the other editions have "gli occhi 
affissi;" for VcUutello's at least, printed in 1544. agrees 
with the Nidobeatina. 

'C >: 

4-1 ,« 










JO— 82 



Venedico^ art thou. But what brings thee 
Into this bitter seasoning P"^ He replied: 
" Unwillingly I answer to thy words. 
But thy clear speech, that to my mind recalls 
The world I once inhabited, constrains me. 
Know then 'twas I who led fair Ghisola 
To do the Marquis' will, however fame 
The shameful tale have bruited. Nor alone 
Bologna hither sendeth me to mourn. 
Rather with us the place is so o'erthrong'd. 
That not so many tongues this day are taught, 
Betwixt the Reno and Savena's stream, 
To answer Sipa^ in their country's phrase. 
And if of that securer proof thou need, 
Remember but our craving thirst for gold." 

Him speaking thus, a demon with his thong 
Struck and exclaim'd, " Away, corrupter I here 
Women are none for sale." Forthwith I join'd 
My escort, and few paces thence we came 
To where a rock forth issued from the bank. 
That easily ascended, to the right 
Upon its splinter turning, we depart 
From those eternal barriers. When arrived 
Where, underneath, the gaping arch lets pass 
The scourged souls. " Pause here," the teacher said, 
" And let these others miserable now 
Strike on thy ken ; faces not yet beheld. 
For that together they with us have walk'd." 

From the old bridge we eyed the pack, who came 
From the other side toward us, like the rest, 
Excoriate from the lash. My gentle guide, 
By me unquestion'd, thus his speech resumed : 
"Behold that lofty shade, who this way tends, 

' Venedice. — Venedico Caccianimico, a Bolognese, who 
prevailed on his sister Ghisola to prostitute herself to 
Obizzo da Este, Marquis of Ferrara. 

' Seasomng.— Salse. Monti, in his "Proposta," takes 
this to be the name of a place 

• To answer Sipa.—He denotes Bologna by its situa- 
tion between the rivers Savena to the east, and Reno to 
the west of that city ; and by a peculiarity of dialect, the 
use of the affirmative si^a instead either of st, or, as Monti 
will have it, of sia. 

96 THE VISION. 83—117. 

And seems too woe-begone to drop a tear. 
How yet the regal aspect he retains I 
■ Jason is he, whose skill and prowess won 
The ram from Colchos. To the Lemnian isle 
His passage thither led him, when those bold 
And pitiless women had slain all their males. 
There he with tokens and fair witching words 
Hypsipyle' beguiled, a virgin young, 
Who first had all the rest herself beguiled. 
Impregnated, he left her there forlorn. 
Such is the guilt condemns him to this pain. 
Here too Medea's injuries are avenged. 
All bear him company, who like deceit 
To his have practised. And thus much to know 
Of the first vale suffice thee, and of those 
Whom its keen torments urge." Now had we come 
Where, crossing the next pier, the straiten'd path 
Bestrides its shoulders to another arch. 

Hence, in the second chasm we heard the ghosts, 
Who gibber in low melancholy sounds. 
With wide-stretch'd nostrils snort, and on themselves 
Smite with their palms. Upon the banks a scurf, 
From the foul steam condensed, encrusting hung. 
That held sharp combat with the sight and smell. 

So hollow is the depth, that from no part, 
Save on the summit of the rocky span, 
Could I distinguish aught. Thus far we came; 
And thence I saw, within the fosse below, 
A crowd immersed in ordure, that appear'd 
Draff of the human body. There beneath 
Searching with eye inquisitive, I mark'd 
One with his head so grimed, 'twere hard to deem 
If he were clerk or layman. Loud he cried : 
" Why greedily thus bendest more on me, 
Than on these other filthy ones, thy ken?" 

» /C>'/'"/>//'-—SeeApolloniusRhodius,l.i.,and Valerius , concealing her father Thoas, when they had agreed to 
Flaccus, L ii. Hypsipyle deceived the other women, by I put all their males to death. 


" Why greedily thus bendest more on me, 
Than on these other filthy ones, thy ken ? " 

Canto Xyill., lines Il6, I17. 



/. 97- 

Thais is this, the harlot, whose false lip 
Answer'd her doting paramour that ask'd, 
" Thankest me much ! " 

Canto XVI 1 1., lines 130-132. 



;anto xviil 


" Because, if true my memory," I replied, 
"I heretofore have seen thee with dry locks; 
And thou Alessio^ art, of Lucca sprung. 
Therefore than all the rest I scan thee more." 

Then beating on his brain, these words he spake: 
" Me thus low down my flatteries have sunk, 
^ Wherewith I ne'er enough could glut my tongue." 

My leader thus : " A little further stretch 
Thy face, that thou the visage well mayst note. 
Of that besotted, sluttish courtesan. 
Who there doth rend her with defiled nails, 
Now crouching down, now risen on her feet. 
Thais'^ is this, the harlot, whose false lip 
Answer'd her doting paramour that ask'd, 
'Thankest me much!' — 'Say rather, wondrously,' 
And, seeing this, here satiate be our view." 

' Alessio. — Alessio, of an ancient and considerable 
family in Lucca, called the Interminei. 

' Thais. — He alludes to that passage in the "Eunuchus" 
of Terence, where Thraso asks if Thais was obliged to 
him for the present he bad sent her ; and Gnatho replies. 

that she had expressed her obligation in the most forcible 
terms — 

" Thais. Magnas ve:o agere gratias Thais mihi ? 
Gnatho, Ingentas." 

Eunuchtts, Act iii., sc. L 




rhey come to the third gulf, wherein are punished those who have been guilty of simony. These are fixed with the head 
downwards in certain apertures, so that no more of them than the legs appears without, and on the soles of their feet 
are seen burning flames. Dante is taken down by his guide into the bottom of the gulf; and there finds Pope 
Nicholas v., whose evil deeds, together with those of other pontiffs, are bitterly reprehended. Virgil then carries him 
up again to the arch, which affords them a passage over the following gulf. 

1 li TOE to thee, Simon Magus I woe to you, 
^ ^ His wretched followers ! who the things of God, 

Which should be wedded unto goodness, them. 

Rapacious as ye are, do prostitute 

For gold and silver in adultery. 

Now must th^ trumpet sound for you, since yours 

Is the third chasm. Upon the following vault 

We now had mounted, where the rock impends 

Directly o'er the centre of the fosse. 

Wisdonl Supreme ! how wonderful the art, 

Which thou dost manifest in heaven, in earth, 

And in the evil world, how just a meed 

Allotting by thy virtue unto all. 

I saw the livid stone, throughout the sides 

And in its bottom full of apertures, 

All equal in their width, and circular each. 
Nor ample less nor larger they appear'd 

Than in Saint John's fair dome^ of me beloved, 

Those framed to hold the pure baptismal streams, 

One of the which I brake, some few years past, 

To save a whelming infant: and be this 

* A seal to undeceive whoever doubts 

• Sainf John's fair dome.— Tht apertures in the rock 
were of the same dimensions as the fonts of St. John the 
Baptist at Florence ; one of which, Dante says, he had 

broken, to rescue a child that was playing near and fell 
in. He intimates that the motive of his breaking the font 
had been maliciously represented by his enemies. 



/■ 99- 

There stood 1 like the friar that doth shrive 
A wretch for murder doom'd. 

Canto X/X., lines 51, 5 a. 






The motive of my deed. From out the mouth 
Of every one emerged a sinner's feet, 
And of the legs high upward as the calf. 
The rest beneath was hid. On either foot 
The soles were burning; whence the flexile joints 
Glanced with such violent motion, as had snapt 
Asunder cords or twisted withs. As flame, 
Feeding on unctuous matter, glides along 
The surface, scarcely touching where it moves; 
So here, from heel to point, glided the flames. 

" Master 1 say who is he, than all the rest 
Glancing in fiercer agony, on whom 
A ruddier flame doth prey?" I thus inquired. 

" If thou be willing," he replied, " that I 
Carry thee down, where least the slope bank falls, 
He of himself shall tell thee, and his wrongs." 

I then: "As pleases thee, to me is best. 
Thou art my lord ; and know'st that ne'er I- quit 
Thy will : what silence hides, that knowest thou." 

Thereat on the fourth pier we came, we turn'd, 
And on our left descended to the depth, 
A narrow strait, and perforated close. 
Nor from his side my leader set me down, 
Till to his orifice he brought, whose limb 
Quivering express'd his pang. " Whoe'er thou art, 
Sad spirit I thus reversed, and as a stake 
Driven in the soil," I in these words began ; 
" If thou be able, utter forth thy voice." 

There stood I like the friar, that doth shrive 
A wretch for murder doom'd, who, e'en when fix'd,' 
Calleth him back, whence death awhile delays. 

He shouted: "Ha! already standest there? 
Already standest there, O Boniface I*^ 

' IVhen fix'd. — The commentators on Boccaccio's 
" Decameron," p. 72, ediz. Ciunti, 1573, cite the words of 
the statute by which murderers were sentenced thus to 
Suffer at Florence : "Assassinus trahatur ad caudam 
muli seu asini usque ad locum justitia: ; et ibidem 
plantctur capite deorsum, ita quod moriatur." " Let the 

assassin be dragged at the tail of a mule or ass to the 
place of justice ; and there let him be set in the ground 
with his face downward, so that he die." 

' O Boniface! — The spirit mistakes Dante for Boni- 
face VIII., who was then alive; and who he did not 
expect would have arrived so soon, in consequence, as it 




By many a year the writing play'd me false. 
So early dost thou surfeit with the wealth, 
' For which thou fearedst not in guile' to take 
The lovely lady, and then mangle her?" 

I felt as those who, piercing not the drift 
Of answer made them, stand as if exposed 
In mockery, nor know what to reply ; 
When Virgil thus admonish'd : "Tell him quick, 
'I am not he, not he whom thou believest.'" 

And I, as was enjoin'd me, straight repliea. 

That heard, the spirit all did wrench his feet, 
And, sighing, next in woeful accent spake: 
"What then of me requirest? If to know 
So much imports thee, who I am, that thou 
Hast therefore down the bank descended, learn 
That in the mighty mantle I was robed,^ 
And of a she-bear was indeed the son. 
So eager to advance my whelps, that there 
My having in my purse above I stow'd, 
And here myself. Under my head are dragg'd 
The rest, my predecessors in the guilt 
Of simony. Stretch'd at their length, they lie 
Along an opening in the rock. 'Midst them 
I also low shall fall, soon as he comes, 
For whom I took thee, when so hastily 
I question'd. But already longer time 
Hath past, since my soles kindled, and I thus 
Upturn'd have stood, than is his doom to stand 
Planted with fiery feet. For after him, 
One yet of deeds more ugly shall arrive, 
From forth the west, a shepherd without law,* 
Fated to cover both his form and mine. 

should seem, of a prophecy, which predicted the I'eath of 
that pope at a later period. Boniface died in 1303. 

' In g^dle. — " Thou didst presume to arrive by 
fraudulent means at the Papal power, and afterwards to 
abuse it." 

' In the mii^hty mniitle I was rcbcd. — Nicholas 111. 
of the Orsini family, whom the poet therefore calls 

"figliuol dcir orsa," "son of the she-bear." He died 
in 1281. 

• From forth the west, a shepherd without law. — 
Bertrand de Got, Archbishop of Bourdeaux, who suc- 
ceeded to the pontificate in 1305, and assumed the title of 
Clement V. He transferred the holy see to Avignon in 
1308 (where it remained till 1376), and died in 1314. 

S8— 1 la 



He a new Jason^ shall be call'd, of whom 
In Maccabees we read ; and favour such 
As to that priest his king indulgent show'd, 
Shall be of France's monarch^ shown to him." 

I know not if I here too far presumed, 
But in this strain I answer'd : " Tell me now 
What treasures from Saint Peter at the first 
Our Lord demanded, when he put the keys 
Into his charge? Surely he ask'd no more 
But 'Follow me!' Nor Peter,^ nor the rest, 
Or gold or silver of Matthias took, 
When lots were cast upon the forfeit place 
Of the condemned soul.* Abide thou then; 
Thy punishment of right is merited : 
And look thou well to that ill-gotten coin. 
Which against Charles^ thy hardihood inspired. 
If reverence of the keys restrain'd me not. 
Which thou fn happier time didst hold, I yet 
Severer speech might use. Your avarice 
O'ercasts the world with mourning, under foot^ 
Treading the good, and raising bad men up. 
Of shepherds like to you, the Evangelist^ 
Was ware, when her, who sits upon the waves. 

' A ntvf Jason. — " But after the death of Seleucus, 
when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, took the kingdom, 
Jason, the brother of Onias, laboured underhand to be 
high-priest, promising unto the king, by intercession, 
three hundred and threescore talents of silver, and of 
another revenue eighty talents."— 2 Mace. iv. 7, 8. 

• 0/ Frances monarch. — Philip IV. of France. See 
G. Villani, lib. viii., c. Ixxx. 

• Nor Peter. — Acts i. 26. 

• The condemned soul.— ]\idas. 

• Against Charles. — Nicholas III. was enraged against 
Charles I., King of Sicily, because he rejected with scorii 
a proposition made by that pope for an alliance between 
their families. See G. Villani, " Hist.," lib. vii., c. liv. 

• Underfoot. — 

" So shall the world go on. 
To good malignant, to bad men benign." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xii., 538. 
' The Evangelist. — Rev. xvii. I, 2, 3. Petrarch, in one 
of his Epistles, had his eye on these line? : " Gaiide 
(inquam) ct ad aliquid utilis inventa gloriare bonorum 
hostis et malorum hospes, atque asylum pessiina rerum 
Babylon feris, Rhodani ripis imposila, famosa dicam an 
infantit meretrix, fornicata cum regibus terra. Ilia 

equidem ipsa es quam in spiritu sacer vidit Evangelista. 
Ilia eadem, inquam, es, non alia, sedens super aquas 
multas, sive ad littora tribus cincta flitminibus sive rerum 
atque divitiarum turba m'ortaliuin quibus lasciviens ac 
secura insides opiim immemor aternarum sive ut idem 
qui vidit, exposuit. Populi et gentes et linguae aqua sunt, 
super quas meretrix sedes, recognosce habitum," &c. — 
Petrarcha Opera, ed. fol. Basil, 1 554, Epist. sine litulo 
Liber, ep. xvi., p. 729. The text is here probably cor- 
rupted. The construction certainly may be rendered 
easier by omitting the cut before littora, and substituting 
a comma for a full stop after exposuit. With all the 
respect that is due to a venerable prelate and truly learned 
critic, I cannot but point out a mistake he has fallen into, 
relating to this passage, when he observes that "number- 
less passages in the writings of Petrarch speak of Rome 
under the name of Babylon. But an equal stress is not 
to be laid on all these. It should be remembered that 
the popes, in Petrarch's time, resided at Avignon, greatly 
to the disparagement of themselves, as he thought, and 
especially of Rome ; of which this singular man was little 
less than idolatrous. The situation of the place, sur- 
rounded by waters, and his splenetic concern for the 
txiled church (for under this idea he painted to himself 



Ill— 130 

With kings in filthy whoredom he beheld; 

She who with seven heads tower'd at her birth, 

And from ten horns her proof of glory drew, 

Long as her spouse in virtue took delight. 

Of gold and silver ye have made your god, 

Differing wherein from the idolater, 

But that he worships one, a hundred ye? 

Ah, ConstantineP to how much ill gave birth, 

Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower, 

Which the first wealthy Father gain'd from thee." 

Meanwhile, as thus I sung, he, whether wrath 
Or conscience smote him, violent upsprang 
Spinning on either sole. I do believe 
My teacher well was pleased, with so composed 
A lip he listen'd ever to the sound 
Of the true words I utter'd. In both arms 
He caught, and, to his bosom lifting me, 
Upward retraced the way of his descent. 

Nor weary of his weight, he press'd me close. 
Till to the summit of the rock we came, 

the Pope's migration to the banks of Avignon), brought 
to his mind the condition of the Jewish Church in the 
Babylonian captivity ; and this parallel was all, perhaps, 
that he meant to insinuate in most of those passages. But 
when he applies the prophecies to Rome, as to the Apo- 
calyptic Babylon (as he clearly does in the epistle under <■ 
consideration), his meaning is not equivocal, and we do 
him but justice to give him an honourable place among 
the TESTES VERITATIS."— .,4« Introduction to the Study 
of the Prophecies^ Sr'c, by Richard Htird, D.D., serm. vii., 
p. 239, note Y, ed. 1772. Now, a reference to the words 
printed in italics, which the Bishop of Worcester has 
omitted in his quotation, will make it sufficiently evident 
that Avignon, and not Roine, is here alluded to by ^ 
Petrarch. The application that is made of. these prophe- 
cies by two men so eminent for their learning and sagacity 
as Dante and Petrarch is, however, very remarkable, and 
must be satisfactory to those who have renounced the 
errors and corruptions of the Papacy. Such applications 
were indeed frequent in the middle ages, as may be seen 
in the "Sermons" above referred to. Balbo observes 
that it is not Rome, as most erroneously interpreted, but 
Avignon, and the court there, that is termed Babylon by 
Dante and Petrarch. "Vita di Dante," v. ii., p. 103. 

' Ah, CoHstantine I — He alludes to the pretended gift 
of the Lateran by Constantine to Sylvester, of which 
Dante himself seems, to imply a doubt, in his treatise " De 
Monarchia :" " Ergo scindere Imperium, Imperatori non 
licet Si ergo aliqux dignitates per Constantinum essent 
alienatae (ut dicunt) ab Imperio," &c. Lib. iii. " There- 

fore, to make a rent in the empire exceeds the lawful 
power of the emperor himself. If, then, some dignities 
were by Constantine alienated (as they report) from the 
empire," &c In another part of the same treatise he 
speaks of the alienation with less doubt indeed, but not 
with less disapprobation : "O felicein populum ! O Auso- 
niam te gloriosam ! si vel numquam infirmator imperii 
tui extitisset ; vel numquam sua pia intentio ipsum fe- 
fellisset." " Oh, happy people ! Oh, glorious Italy ! if 
either he who thus weakened thine empire had never been 
born, or had never suffered his pious intentions to mislead 
him." Lib. ii., ad Jinem. The gift is by Ariosto very 
humorously placed in the moon, among the things lost 
or abused on earth : 

" Di varj fiori ad un gran monte passa, 
Ch' ebber gia buono odore, or puzzan forte, 
Questo era il dono (se pero dir lece) 
Che Costantino al buon Silvestro fece." 

Orlando Furioso, c xxxiv., st. 80. 

Milton has translated both this passage and that in the 
text. Prose Works, vol. i., p. 1 1, ed. 1753 : 

"Ah, Constantine ! of how much ill was cause 
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains 
That the first wealthy pope received of thee. 
Then pass'd he to a flowery mountain green. 
Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously; 
This was that gift, if you the truth will have, 
That Constantine to good Silvester gave." 

13«— '35- 


Our passage from the fourth to the fifth pier. 
His cherish'd burden there gently he placed 
Upon the rugged rock and steep, a path 
Not easy for the clambering goat to mount. 
Thence to my view another vale appeax'd. 



The poet relates the punishment of such as presumed, while living, to predict future events. It is to have their faces 
reversed and set the contrary way on their limbs, so that, being deprived of the power to see before them, they are 
constrained ever to walk backwards. Among these Virgil points out to him Amphiaraiis, Tiresias, Aruns, and 
Manto (from the mention of whom he takes occasion to speak of the origin of Mantua), toeether with several others, 
who had practised the arts of divination and astrology. 

A ND now the verse proceeds to torments new, 
Fit argument of this the twentieth strain 
Of the first song, whose awful theme records 
The spirits whelm'd in woe. Earnest I look'd 
Into the depth, that open'd to my view, 
Moisten'd with tears of anguish, and beheld 
A tribe, that came along the hollow vale. 
In silence weeping: such their step as walk 
Quires, chanting solemn litanies, on earth. 

As on them more direct mine eye descends. 
Each wonderously seem'd to be reversed* 
At the neck-bone, so that the countenance 
Was from the reins averted ; and because 
None might before him look, they were compell'd 
To advance with backward gait. Thus one perhaps 
Hath been by force of palsy clean transposed, 
But I ne'er saw it nor believe it so. 

Now, reader! think within thyself, so God 
Fruit of thy reading give thee I how I long 
Could keep my visage dry,'* when I beheld 

Reversed. — Both feet and face one way are wont to lead." 

'But very uncouth sight was to behold 
How he did fashion his untoward pace ; 
For as he forward moved his footing old. 
So backward still was turn'd his wrinkled face } 
Unlike to men, who, ever as they trace, 

Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. i., c. viii., St. 31. 
' How I long could keep my visage dry. — 
" Siglit so deform what heart of man could long 
Dry-eyed behold ? Adam could not, but wept." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi., 495. 

2J— 45 



Near me our form distorted in such guise, 
That on the hinder parts fallen from the face 
The tears down-streaming roll'd. Against a rock 
I leant and wept, so that my guide exclaim'd, 
" What I and art thou, too, witless as the rest ? 
Here pity most doth show herself alive, 
When she is dead. What guilt exceedeth his, 
Who with Heavens judgment in his passion strives? 
Raise up thy head, raise up, and see the man 
Before whose eyes' earth gaped in Thebes, when all 
Cried out ' Amphiaraiis, whither rushest? 
Why leavest thou the war?' He not the less 
Fell ruining"^ far as to Minos down. 
Whose grapple none eludes. Lo I how he makes 
The breast his shoulders; and who once too far 
Before him wish'd to see, now backward looks, 
And treads reverse his path. Tiresias^ note, 
Who semblance changed, when woman he became 
Of male, through every limb transform'd ; and then 
Once more behoved him with his rod to strike 
The two entwining serpents, ere the plumes, 
That mark'd the better sex, might shoot again. 
" Aruns,* with rere his belly facing, comes. 
On Luni's mountains 'midst the marbles white, 
Where delves Carrara's hind, who wons beneath, 

' Be/ore whose O'"-— Amphiaraiis, one of the seven 
kings who besieged Thebes. He is said to have been 
swallowed up by an opening of the earth. See Lidgate's 
"Storie of Thebes," part iii., where it is told how the 
" Bishop Amphiaraiis " fell down to hell : 

" And thus the devill, for his outrages, 
Like his desert payed him his wages." 

A different reason for his being doomed thus to perish is 
assigned by Pindar: 

"of •j»;i0<ap)ji," &c. A'em., ix. 

" For thee, Amphiaraiis, earth, 
By Jove's all-riving thunder cleft, 
Her mighty bosom open'd wide, 
Thee and thy plunging steeds to hide, 
Or ever on thy back the spear 
Of Periclymenus impress'd 
A wound to shame thy warlike breast 
For struck with panic fear 
The gods' own children flee." 

' Ruining. — " Ruinare." Hence, perhaps, Milton, 
" Paradise Lost," b. vi., 868 : 

" Heaven ruining from heaven." 
' Tiresias. — 

" Duo magnorum viridi coeuntia sylva 
Corpora serpentum baculi violaverat ictu, 
Deque viro factus (mirabile) foemina, septem 
Egerat autumnos. Octavo rursus eosdem 
Vidit Et, est vestras si tanta potentia plagae, 
Nunc quoque vos feriam. Percussis anguibus isdem 
Forma prior rediit, genitivaque venit imago." 

Oviti, Metamorphoses, lib. iii. 
* Anins. — Aruns is said to have dwelt in the mountains 
of Luni (from whence that territory is still called Luni- 
giana), above Carrara, celebrated for its marble. Lucan, 
" Pharsalia," hb. i., 575. So Boccaccio, in the " Fiam- 
metta," lib. iii. : " Quale Arunte," &c. " Like Aruns, who, 
amidst the white marbles of Luni, contemplated the 
celestial bodies and their molions." Compare Fazio degli 
Uberti, " Dittamondo," 1. iii., cap. vL 




A cavern was his dwelling, whence the stars 
And main sea wide in boundless view he held. 

" The next, whose loosen'd tresses overspread 
Her bosom, which thou seest not (for each hair 
On that side grows) was Manto,^ she who search 'd 
Through many regions, and at length her seat 
Fix'd in my native land : whence a short space 
My words detain thy audience. When her sire 
From life departed, and in servitude 
The city dedicate to Bacchus mourn'd, 
Long time she went a wanderer through the world. 
Aloft in Italy's delightful land 
A lake there lies, at foot of that proud Alp 
That o'er the Tyrol locks Germania in, 
Its name Benacus, from whose ample breast 
A thousand springs, methinks, and more, between 
Camonica^ and Garda, issuing forth, 
Water the Apennine. There is a spot* 
At midway of that lake, where he who bears 
Of Trento's flock the pastoral staff, with him 
Of Brescia, and the Veronese, might each 
Passing that way his benediction give. 
A garrison of goodly site and strong* 
Peschiera^ stands, to awe with front opposed 
The Bergamese and Brescian, whence the shore 
More slope each way descends. There, whatsoe'er 
Benacus' bosom holds not, tumbling o'er 

' Manto. — The daughter of Tiresias of Thebes, a city 
dedicated to Bacchus. From Manto, Mantua, the country 
of Virgil, derives its name. The poet proceeds to describe 
the situation of that place. 

' Camonica.— Lombardi, instead of 


" Fra Garda, e val Camonica e Apennino," 
" Fra Garda e val Camonica Pennino," 

from the Nidobeatina edition (to which he might have 
added that of Vellutello in 1544), and two MSB., all of 
which omit the second conjunction, the only part of the 
alteration that affects the sense. I have re-translated the 
passage, which in the former editions stood thus : 

" Which a thousand rills 
Methinks, and more, water between the vale 

Camonica and Garda, and the height 

Of Apennine remote." 
It should be added that Vellutello reads " Valdimonica " 
for " Val Camonica; " but which of these is right remains 
to be determined by a collation of editions and MSS., 
and still more perhaps by a view of the country in the 
neighbourhood of the lake (now called the Lagodi Garda), 
with a reference to this passage. 

' There is a spot. — Prato di Fame, where the dioceses 
of Trento, Verona, and Brescia meet. 

* A garrisoH 0/ goodly site and strong. — 

" Gaza, bello e forte arnese 
Da fronteggiar i regni di Soria." 

Tasso, Gierusalemme Liberata, c. i., st. 67. 

• Peschiera. — A garrison situated to the south of the 
lake, where it empties itself and forms the Mincius. 


73-104. HELL. — CANTO XX. IO7 

Down falls, and winds a river flood beneath 
Through the green pastures. Soon as in his course 
The stream makes head, Benacus then no more 
They call the name, but Mincius, till at last 
Reaching Governo, into Po he falls. 
Not far his course hath run, when a wide flat 
It finds, which overstretching as a marsh 
It covers, pestilent in summer oft. 
Hence journeying, the savage maiden saw 
Midst of the fen a territory waste 
And naked of inhabitants. To shun 
All human converse, here she with her slaves, 
Plying her arts, remain'd, and lived, and left 
Her body tenantless. Thenceforth the tribes, 
Who round were scatter'd, gathering to that place, 
Assembled ; for its strength was great, enclosed 
On all parts by the fen. On those dead bones 
They rear'd themselves a city, for her sake 
Calling it Mantua, who first chose the spot, 
Nor ask'd another omen for the name ; 
Wherein more numerous the people dwelt, 
Ere Casalodi's madness' by deceit 
Was wrong'd of Pinamonte. If thou hear 
Henceforth another origin^ assign'd 
Of that my country, I forewarn thee now, 
That falsehood none beguile thee of the truth." 
I answer'd, "Teacher, I conclude thy words 
So certain, that all else shall be to me 
As embers lacking life. Bui now of these, 
Who here proceed, instruct me, if thou see 
Any that merit more especial note. 
For thereon is my mind alone intent." 

' CasalodCs madness. — Alberto da Casalodi, who had out Casalodi and his adherents, and obtained the sove- 

got possession of Mantua, was persuaded, by Pinamonte reignty for himself. 

Buonacossi, that he might ingratiate himself with the ' Another origin. — Lombardi refers to Servius on the 

people, by banishing to their own castles the nobles, who Tenth Book of the "yEnc-id :" " Alii a Tarchone Tyrrheni 

were obnoxious to them. No sooner was this dor.e, than i fratre conditam dicunt Mantuam autem ideo nominatam 

Pinamonte put himself at the head of the populace, drove ' quia Etrusca lingua Mantum ditem patrem appellant'" 



105— 1 18. 

He straight replied: "That spirit, from whose cheek 
The beard sweeps o'er his shoulders brown, what time 
Graecia was emptied of her males, that scarce 
The cradles were supplied, the seer was he 
In Aulis, who with Calchas gave the sign 
When first to cut the cable. Him they named 
Eurypilus : so sings my tragic strain.' 
In which majestic measure well thou know'st, 
Who know'st it all. That other, round the loins 
So slender of his shape, was Michael Scot,* 
Practised in every slight of magic wile. 

"Guido fionatti* see: Asdente* mark, 
Who now were willing he had tended still 
The thread and cordwain, and too late repents. 

' So sings my tragic strain. — 
" Suspensi Eurypilum scitatum oracula Phcebi 

Mittimus." Virgil, jEneid, ii. 14. 

' Michael Scot. — " Egli non ha ancora guari, che in 
questa citta fu un gran maestro in negromanzia, il quale 
ebbe nome Michele Scotto, percio che di Scozia era." — 
Boccaccio, Decameron, Giorn. viii., Nov. -9. " It is not 
long since there was in this city (Florence) a great master 
in necromancy, who was called Michele Scotto, because 
he was from Scotland." See also G. Villani, " Hist.," lib. 
X., cap. cv. and cxli., and lib. xii., cap. xviii. ; and Fazio 
degli Uberti, " Dittamondo," 1. ii., cap. xxvii. I make no 
apology for adding the following curious particulars ex- 
tracted from the notes to Mr. Scott's " Lay of the Last 
Minstrel," a poem in which a happy use is made of the 
superstitions relating to the subject of this note :— " Sir 
Michael Scott, of Balwearie, flourished during the thir- 
teenth century, and was one of the ambassadors sent to 
bring the Maid of Norway to Scotland upon the death of 
Alexander 1 1 L He was a man of much learning, chieily 
acquired in foreign countries. He wrote a commentary 
upon Aristotle, printed at Venice in 1496, and several 
treatises upon natural philosophy, from which he appears 
to have been addicted to the abstruse studies of judicial 
astrology, alchemy, physiognomy, and chiromancy. Hence 
he passed among his contemporaries for a skilful magician. 
Dempster informs us that he remembers to have beard 
in his youth, that the magic books of Michael Scott were 
still in existence, but could not be opened without danger, 
on account of the fiends who were thereby invoked. 
Dcmpsteri, 'Historia Ecclesiastica,' 1627, lib. xii., p. 495. 
Leslie characterises Michael Scott as 'Singular! philo- 
sophise astronomix ac medicinx laude prsestans, dicebatur 
penitissimos magix recessus indagasse.' A personage 
thus spoken of by biographers and historians loses little 
of his mystical fame in vulgar tradition. Accordingly, the 
memory of Sir Michael Scott survives in many a legend ; 
and in the south of Scotland any work of great labour 
and antiquity is ascribed either to the agency of Auld 
Michael, of Sir William Wallace, or of the devil. Tradi- 
tion varies concerning the place of his burial : some 

contend for Holme Coltrame, in Cumberland, others for 
Melrose Abbey: but all agree that his books of magic, 
were interred in his grave, or preserved in the convent 
where he died." — The Lay of the Last Minstrel, by Walter 
Scott, Esq., Lond., 4to, 1805, p. 234, notes. Mr. Warton, 
speaking of the new translations of Aristotle, from the 
original Greek into Latin, about the twelfth century, 
observes : " I believe the translators understood very 
little Greek. Our countryman, Michael Scotus, was one 
of the first of them ; who was assisted by Andrew, a Jew. 
Michael was astrologer to Frederic II., Emperor of 
Germany, and appears to have executed his translations 
at Toledo, in Spain, about the year 1220. These new 
versions were perhaps little more than corrections from 
those of the early Arabians, made under the inspection of 
the learned Spanish Saracens." — History of English 
Poetry, vol. i., dissert, ii., and sect, ix., p. 292. Among 
the Canonici MSS. in the Bodleian, I have seen (No. 520) 
the astrological works of Michael Scot, on vellum, with an 
illuminated portrait of him at the beginning. 

' Guido Bonatti. — A" astrologer of Forli, on whose 
skill Guido da Montefeltro, lord of that place, so much 
relied, that he is reported never to have gone into battle, 
except in the hour recommended to hira as fortunate by 
Bonatti. Landino and VellutcUo speak of a book which 
he composed on the subject of his art. MacchiavelU men- 
tions him in the " History of Florence," L i., p. 24, ed. 
1550. "He flourished about 1230 and 1260. Though a 
learned astronomer, he was seduced by astrology, through 
which he was greatly in favour with many princes of that 
time. His many works are miserably spoiled by it." — 
Bettinelli, Risorgimento d' Italia, t. i., p. 118, 8vo, 1786. 
He is referred to in Brown's " Vulgar Errors," b. iv., c xii. 

* Asdente. — A shoemaker at Parma, who deserted his 
business to practise the arts of divination. How much 
this man had attracted the public notice appears from 
a passage in our author's "Convito," where it is said, 
in speaking of the derivation of the word " noble," that 
" if those who were best known were accounted the most 
noble, Asdente, the shoemaker of Parma, would be more 
noble than any one in that city." 

119— 128. HELL. CANTO XX. IO9 

" See next the wretches, who the needle left, 
The shuttle and the spindle, and became 
Diviners : baneful witcheries they wrought 
With images and herbs. But onward now : 
For now doth Cain with fork of thorns^ confine 
On either hemisphere, touching the wave 
^ Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight 

The moon was round. Thou mayst remember well : 

For she good service did thee in the gloom 

Of the deep wood." This said, both onward moved. 

• Cain with fork of thorns. — By Cain and the thorns, or \ reader may consult Brand on " Popular Antiquities," 4to, 
what is still vulgarly called the Man in the Moon, the I 1813, vol: ii., p. 476,and Douce's " Illustrations of Shake- 
poet denotes that luminary. The same superstition is ! speare," 8vo, 1807, v. i., p. l& 
alluded to in the " Paradise," canto ii. 52. The curious | 



Still «n the eighth circle, whi:h bears the name of Malebolge, they look down from the bridge that passes over its fifth 
gulf, upon the barterers or public peculators. These are plunged in a lake of boiling pitch, and guarded by demons, 
to whom Virgil, leaving Dante apart, presents himself; and licence being obtained to pass onward, both pursue 
their way. 

T^HUS we from bridge to bridge, with other talk, 

■*■ The which my drama cares not to rehearse, 
Pass'd on ; and to the summit reaching, stood 
To view another gap, within the round 
Of Malebolge, other bootless pangs. 

Marvellous darkness shadow'd o'er the place. 

In the Venetians' arsenal' as boils 
Through wintry months tenacious pitch, to smear 
Their unsound vessels ; for the inclement time 
Sea-faring men restrains, and in that while 
His barque one builds anew, another stops 
The ribs of his that hath made many a voyage, 
One hammers at the prow, one at the poop. 
This shapeth oars, that other cables twirls, 
The mizen one repairs, and main-sail rent ; 
So, not by force of fire but art divine, 
Boil'd"^ here a glutinous thick mass, that round 
Limed all the shore beneath. I that beheld, 
But therein nought distinguish'd, save the bubbles 
Raised by the boiling, and one mighty swell 
Heave,* and by turns subsiding fall. While there 

' Jm the Venetians^ arsenal. — 

" Come dentr" ai Navai delta gran terra, 
Tra le lacune del mar d'Adria posta, 
Serban la pece la togata gente, 
Ad uso di lor navi e di lor triremi ; 
Per solcar poi sicuri il mare ondoso," &c. 

Ruccetlai. Le Apt, v. 165. 

Dryden seems to have had the passage in the text before 
him in his " Annus Mirabilis," st. 146, &c. 

' Boil'd. — " Vidi flumcn magno de Inferno procedere 
ardens, atque piceum." — Alberici Visio, § xvii. 

' One mighty swell heave. — " Vidi etiam os putei 
magnum flammas emittentem, et nunc sursum nunc 
deorsum descendentem." — Alberici Visio, § xL 


22 S3- 



I fix'd my ken below, "Mark! mark!" my guide 
Exclaiming, drew me towards him from the place 
Wherein I stood. I turn'd myself, as one 
Impatient to behold that which beheld 
He needs must shun, whom sudden fear unmans, 
That he his flight delays not for the view. 
Behind me I discern'd a devil black. 
That running up advanced along the rock. 
Ah I what fierce cruelty his look bespake. 
In act how bitter did he seem, with wings 
Buoyant outstretch'd and^ feet of nimblest tread. 
His shoulder, proudly eminent and sharp, 
Was with a sinner charged; by either haunch 
He held him, the foot's sinew griping fast. 

"Ye of our bridge I" he cried, " keen-talon'd fiends I 
Lo I one of Santa Zita's elders.' Him 
Whelm ye beneath, while I return for more. 
That land hath store of such. All men are there, 
Except Bonturo, barterers :^ of ' no ' 
For lucre there an 'ay' is quickly made." 

Him dashing down, o'er the rough rock he turn'd ; 
Nor ever after thief a mastiff loosed 
Sped with like eager haste. That other sank, 
And forthwith writhing to the surface rose. 
But those dark demons, shrouded by the bridge, 
Cried, " Here the hallow'd visage* saves not : here 
Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave,* 
Wherefore, if thou desire we rend thee not, 
Take heed thou mount not o'er the pitch." This said, 
They grappled him with more than hundred hooks, 
And shouted, " Cover'd thou must sport thee here ; 
So, if thou canst, in secret mayst thou filch." 

• One of Santa Zita's elders.— The elders or chief 
magistrates of Lucca, where Santa Zita was held in es- 
pecial veneration. The name of this sinner is supposed 
to have been Martino Bataio. 

' Except Bonturo, barterers. — This is said ironically of 
Bonturo de' Dati. By barterers are meant peculators of 
every description ; all who traffic the interests of the 
public for their own private advantage. 

' The hallo-ufd visage. — A representation of the head 
of our Saviour worshipped at Lucca. 

* Is other swimming than in Serchio's wave. — 

" Qui si nuota altrimenti che nel Serchio." 

Serchio is the river that flows by Lucca. So Pulci. 
" Morgante Maggiore," c. xxiv. : 

" Qui si nuota nel sangue, e non nel Serchio.' 

112 THE VISION, 54-8S. 

E'en thus the cobk bestirs him, with his grooms, 
To thrust the flesh' into the caldron down 
With flesh-hooks, that it float not on the top. 


Me then my guide bespake : " Lest they descry 
That thou art here, behind a craggy rock 
Bend low and screen thee: and whate'er of force 
Be offer'd me, or insult, fear thou not; 
For I am well advised, who have been erst 
In the like fray," Beyond the bridge's head 
Therewith he pass'd ; and reaching the sixth pier, 
Behoved him then a forehead terror-proof. 

With storm and fury, as when dogs rush forth 
Upon the poor man's back, who suddenly 
From whence he standeth makes his suit ; so rush'd 
Those from' beneath the arch, and against him 
Their weapons all they pointed. He, aloud: 
" Be none of you outrageous : ere your tine 
Dare seize me, come forth from amongst you one, 
Who having heard my words, decide he then 
If he shall tear these limbs." They shouted loud 
"Go, Malacoda!" Whereat one advanced. 
The others standing firm, and as he came, 
"What may this turn avail him?" he exclaim'd. 

" Believest thou, Malacoda! I had come 
Thus far from all your skirmishing secure," 
My teacher answer'd, " without will divine 
And destiny propitious ? Pass we then ; 
For so Heaven's pleasure is, that I should lead 
Another through this savage wilderness." 

Forthwith so fell his pride, that he let drop 
The instrument of torture at his feet, 
And to the rest exclaim'd, " We have no power 
To strike him." Then to me my guide : " Oh, thou I 
Who on the bridge among the crags dost sit 
Low crouching, safely now to me return." 

' 7X'y?'-fA-— " In eundem flumen corruunt: rursumque I antur, donee in morem carnium excocti," &c. — Albertci 
assurgentes, ac denuo recidentes, tamdiu ibidem cruci- | I'isio, § xvii. 

89—117. HELL. CANTO XXL T I3 

I rose, and towards him moved with speed ; the jEiends 
Meantime all forward drew : me terror seized. 
Lest they should break the compact they had made. 
Thus issuing from Caprona,^ once I saw 
The infantry, dreading lest his covenant 
The foe should break ; so close he hemm'd them round. 
t^ I to my leader's side adhered, mine eyes 

With fixed and motionless observance bent 
On their unkindly visage. They their hooks 
Protruding, one the other thus bespake : 
"Wilt thou I touch him on the hip?" To whom 
Was answer'd, " Even so ; nor miss thy aim." 

But he, who was in conference with my guide, 
Turn'd rapid round ; and thus the demon spake : 
"Stay, stay thee, Scarmiglionel" Then to us 
He added : " Further footing to your step 
This rock affords not, shiver'd to the base 
Of the sixth arch. But would ye still proceed. 
Up by this cavern go : not distant far, 
Another rock will yield you passage safe. 
Yesterday,*^ later by five hours than now, 
Twelve hundred threescore years and six had fill'd 
The circuit of their course, since here the way 
Was broken. Thitherward I straight dispatch 
Certain of these my scouts, who shall espy 
If any on the surface bask. With them 
Go ye : for ye shall find them nothing fell. 
Come Alichino, forth," with that he cried, 
"And Calcabrina, and Cagnazzo^ thou I 

' From Caprona. — The surrender of the castle of Ca- 1 Dante, was felt even in the depths of helL See canto 

prona to the combined forces of Florence and Lucca, on 
condition that the garrison should march out in safety, to 
which event Dante was a witness, took place in I2ga 
See G. Villani, " Hist," lib. vii., c. cxxxvl 

' Yesterday. — Tliis passage fixes the era of Dante's 
descent at Good Friday, in the year 1300 (lliirty-four years 
from our blessed Lord's incarnation being added to 1266), 
and at the thirty-fifth year of our poet's age. See canto i., 
V. I. The awful event alluded to, the Evangelists inform us, 
happened "at the ninth hour," that is, our sixth, wlien 
" the rocks were rent," and the convulsion, according to 

xii., V. 38. 

• Cajrnazzo. — Pulci introduces some of these demons 
in a very pleasant adventure, related near the beginnmg 
of the second canto of his " Morgante Maggiore :" 
" Non senti tu, Orlando, in quella tomba 

Quelle parole, che colui rimbomba ? 

lo voglio andar a scoprir qucUo avello, 

La dove e' par che quella voce s'oda, 

Ed escape Cagnazzo, e Farfarello, 

O Libicocco, col suo Malnccda; 

E finalmente s'accostava a quello, 




The troop of ten let Barbariccia lead. 

With Libicocco, Draghinazzo haste, 

Fang'd Ciriatto, Graiifiacane fierce, 

And Farfarello, and mad Rubicant. 

Search ye around the bubbling tar. For these, 

In safety lead them, where the other crag 

Uninterrupted traverses the dens." 

I then: "Oh, master P what a sight is there. 
Ah I without escort, journey we alone. 
Which, if thou know the way, I covet not. 
Unless thy prudence fail thee, dost not mark 
How they do gnarl upon us, and their scowl 
Threatens us present tortures ?" He replied : 
" I charge thee, fear not : let them, as they will, 
Gnarl on : 'tis but in token of their spite 
Against the souls who mourn in torment steep'd." 

To leftward o'er the pier they turn'd ; but each 
Had first between his teeth prest close the tongue, 
Toward their leader for a signal looking. 
Which he with sound obscene' triumphant gave. 

Pero che Orlando questa impresa loda, 
£ disse ; scuopri, se vi fussi dentro 
Quanti ne piovon mai dal ciel nel centra" 

Stanze xxx. I. 

" ' Perceivest the words, Orlando, which this fellow 
"Doth in our ears out of that tomb rebellow ? 
I'll go, and straight the sepulchre uncase, 
From whence, as seems to me, that voice was heard; 
Be Farfarel and Cagnazzo to my face. 
Or Libicoc with Malacoda, stirr'd :' 
And finally he drew near to the place ; 

The emprize Orlando praising with this word : 

' Uncase it, though within as many dwell. 

As ever were from heaven rain'd down to helL' " 

' Oh, master/ — Lombardi tells us that every edition, 
except his favourite Nidobeatina, has "Ome" printed 
separately, instead of " Omd." This is not the case at 
least with Landino's of 1484. But there is no end of 
these inaccuracies. 

' IVilh sound obscene. — Compare the original with 
Aristophanes, "Nubes," 165: 

" vaXirtYi h ffuKrhi iarlv" 



Virgil and Dante proceed, accompanied by the demons, and see other sinners of the same description in the same gulf. 
The device of Ciampolo, one of these, to escape from the demons, who laid hold on him. 

T T hath been heretofore my chance to see 

Horsemen with martial order shifting camp, 
To onset sallying, or in muster ranged, 
Or in retreat sometimes outstretch 'd for flight : 
Light-armed squadrons and fleet foragers 
Scouring thy plains, Arezzo ! have I seen 
And clashing tournaments, and tilting jousts, 
Now with the sound of trumpets, now of bells, 
Tabors,^ or signals made from castled heights, 
And with inventions multiform, our own. 
Or introduced from foreign land ; but r^^'t;? 
To such a strange recorder I beheld, 
In' evolution moving, horse nor foot. 
Nor ship, that tg.c"k'd by sign from land or star. 
With the ten demons on our way we went ; 
Ah, feaviul company I but in the church*^ 
WitAi saints, with gluttons at the tavern's mess. 
Still earnest on the pitch I gazed, to mark 
All things whate'er the chasm contain'd,^ and those 
Who burn'd within. As dolphins* that, in sign 

' Taborj. — "Tabour, a drum, a common accompani- 
ment of war, is mentioned as one of the instruments of 
martial n.iusic in this battle (in Richard Cceur-dc-Lion) 
with characteristical propriety. It was imported into the 
European irmies from the Saracens in the holy war. 
Joiaville describes a superb barque or galley belonging to 
a Saracen chief whicli, he says, was filled with cymb.nls, 
labours, and Saracen horns. ' Hist de S. Loys,' p. 
30." — IVarioii's History of English Poetry, v. i., § iv., 
p. 167. 

* In the church. — This pro>";rb is repeated by Pulci, 
" Morgante Maggiore," c. xvii. 

* Whatever the chasm contaiiCd. — Monti, in his " Pro- 
posta," interprets " contegno " to mean, not " contents," 
but " state," " condition." 

* As dolphins. — 

" Li lieti delfini 
Givan saltando sopra I'onde chiare, 
* Che soglion di fortuf a esser divini." 

Frezzi, II Quadriregio, lib. i., cap. xv. 



21 — 51 

To mariners, heave high their arched backs, 
That thence forewarn 'd they may advise to save 
Their threaten'd vessel ; so, at intervals, 
To ease the pain, his back some sinner show'd, 
Then hid more nimbly than the lightning-glance. 

E'en as the frogs, that of a watery moat 
Stand at the brink, with the jaws only out. 
Their feet and of the trunk all else conceal'd, 
Thus on each part the sinners stood ; but soon 
As Barbariccia was at hand, so they 
Drew back under the wave. I saw, and yet 
My heart doth stagger, one, that waited thus, 
As it befalls that oft one frog remains, 
While the next springs away : and Graffiacan,* 
Who of the fiends was nearest, grappling seized 
His clotted locks, and dragg'd him sprawling up, 
That he appear'd to me an otter. Each 
Already by their names I knew, so well 
When they were chosen I observed, and mark'd 
iJow one the other call'd. "O Rubicant! 
See that his Jiide thou with thy talons flay," 
Shouted together all the cursed crew. 

Then I : " Inform thee, master ! if thou may, 
What wretched soul is this, on whom their hands 
His foes have laid." ]\Iy leader to his side 
Approach "d, and whence he came inquired ; to , whom 
Was answer'd thus : " Born in Navarre's domaifij* 
My mother placed me in a lord's retinue ; 
For she had borne me to a losel vile, 
A spendthrift of his substance and himself. 
The good king Thibault^ after that I served: 

' Graffiacan. — Fuseli, in a note to his third Lecture, 
observes, that " the Minos of Dante, in Messer Biagio da 
Ceseno, and his Charon, have been recognised by all ; 
but less the shivering wretch held over the barge by a 
hook, and evidently taken from this passage." He is 
speaking of Michael Angelo's " Last Judgment" 

' Born in Navarre's domain.— The name of this pecu- 
lator is said to have been Ciampolo. 

» Tki good king ThibauiL—" Thibault 1., King of 

Navarre, died on the 8th of June, 1233, m muc h to be 
commended for the desire he showed of aiding the \var in 
the Holy Land, as reprehensible and faulty for his design 
of oppressing the rights and privileges of the Church ; on 
which account it is said that the whole kingdom was 
under an interdict for the space of three entire years. 
Thibault undoubtedly merits praise, as for his oilier en- 
dowments, so especially for his cultivation of the liberal 
arts, his exercise and knowledge of music and poetry, in 

5»— 81. 



To peculating here my thoughts were turn'd, 
Whereof I give account in this dire heat." 

Straight Ciriatto, from whose mouth a tuslc 
Issued on either side, as from a boar, 
Ripp'd him with one of these. Twixt evil claws 
The mouse had fallen : but Barbariccia cried, 
Seizing him with both arms : " Stand thou apart, 
While I do fix him on my prong transpierced." 
Then added, turning to my guide his face, 
" Inquire of him, if more thou wish to learn. 
Ere he again be rent." My leader thus : 
" Then tell us of the partners in thy guilt ; 
Knowest thou any sprung of Latian land 
Under the tar?" "I parted," he replied, 
" But now from one, who sojourn'd not far thence ; 
So were I under shelter now with him, 
Nor hook nor talon then should scare me more." 

" Too long we suffer," Libicocco cried ; 
Then, darting forth a prong, seized on his arm, 
And mangled bore away the sinewy part. 
Him Draghinazzo by his thighs beneath 
Would next have caught ; whence angrily tlieir chief, 
Turning on all sides round, with threatening brow 
Restrain'd them. When their strife a little ceased. 
Of him, who yet was gazing on his wound. 
My teacher thus without delay inquired : 
" Who was the spirit, from whom by evil hap 
Parting, as thou hast told, thou earnest to shore?" 

" It was the friar Gomita,"i he rejoin'd, 
" He of Gallura, vessel of all guile, 

which he so much excelled, that he was accustomed to 
compose verses and sing them to the viol, and to exhibit 
his poetical compositions publicly in his palace, that they 
might be criticised by all." — Mariana, History of Spain, 
b. xiii., c ix. An account of Thibault, and two of his 
songs, with what were probably the original melodies, 
may be seen in Dr. Barney's " History of Music," v. ii., c. 
iv. His poems, which are in the French language, were 
sriited by M. I'Eveque de la Ravalliere ; Paris, 1742, 
2 vols. i2mo. Dante twice quotes one of his verses in 
the " Treatise de Vulgari Eloquentia," lib. i., c. ix., and 

lib. ii., c. v., and refers to him again, lib. ii., c. yi. From 
"the good king Thibault " are descended the good, but 
more unfortunate monarch, Louis XVI. of France, and 
consequently the present legitimate sovereign of that 
realm. See Henault, " Abn'gc Chron.," 1252, 3, 4. 

' The friar Gomila. — He was entrusted by Nino de' 
Visconti with the government of Gallura, one of the four 
jurisdictions into which Sardinia was divided. Having 
his master's enemies in his power, he took a bribe from 
them, and allowed them to escape. Mention of Nino will 
recur in the Notes to canto xxxiiL 

Il8 THE VISION. 82-U7. 

Who had his master's enemies in hand. 

And used them so that they commend him well. 

Money he took, and them at large dismiss'd; 

So he reports ; and in each other charge 

Committed to his keeping play'd the part 

Of barterer to the height. With him doth herd 

The chief of Logodoro, Michel Zanche.' 

Sardinia is a theme whereof their tongue 

Is never weary. Out 1 alas I behold 

That other, how he grins. More would I say, 

But tremble lest he mean to maul me sore." 

Their captain then to Farfarello turning, 
Who roU'd his moony eyes in act to strike, 
Rebuked him thus : " Off, cursed bird ! avaunt I" 

" If ye desire to see or hear," he thus 
Quaking with dread resumed, " or Tuscan spirits 
Or Lombard, I will cause them to appear. 
Meantime let these ill talons bate their fury, 
So that no vengeance they may fear from them. 
And I, remaining in this self-same place. 
Will, for myself but one, make seven appear, 
When my shrill whistle shall be heard : for so 
Our custom is to call each other up." 

Cagnazzo at that word deriding grinn'd, 
Then wagg'd the head and spake: "Hear his device, 
Mischievous as he is, to plunge him down." 

Whereto he thus, who fail'd not in rich store 


Of.nice-wove toils: "Mischief, forsooth, extreme I 
' Meant only to procure myself more woe." 
No longer Alichino then refrain'd, 
But thus, the rest gainsaying, him bespake: 
•' If thou do cast thee down, I not on foot 
Will chase thee, but above the pitch will beat 
My plumes. Quit we the vantage ground, and let 
The bank be as a shield ; that we may see, 
If singly thou prevail against us all." 

• Michel Zanche, — The president of Logodoro, another of the four Sardinian jurisdictions. See canto xxxiii. 136, Note. 


p. 119. 

But the other proved 
A goshawk able to rend well his foe ; 
And in the boiling lake both fell. 

Canto XXII., tines 137-139. 


Now, reader, of new sport expect to hear. 

They each one turn'd his eyes to the other shore. 
He first, who was the hardest to persuade. 
The spirit of Navarre chose well his time, 
Planted his feet on land, and at one leap 
Escaping, disappointed their resolve. 
^ Them quick resentment stung, but him the most 

Who was the cause of failure : in pursuit 
He therefore sped, exclaiming, " Thou art caught." 

But little it avail'd ; terror outstripp'd 
His following flight ; the other plunged beneath, 
And he with upward pinion raised his breast : 
E'en thus the water-fowl, when she perceives 
The falcon near, dives instant down, while he 
Enraged and spent retires. That mockery 
In Calcabrina fury stirr'd, who flew 
After him, with desire of strife inflamed ; 
And, for the barterer had 'scaped, so turn'd 
Ilis talons on his comrade. O'er the dyke 
In grapple close they join'd ; but the other proved 
A goshawk able to rend well his foe; 
And in the boiling lake both fell. The heat 
Was umpire' soon between them ; but in vain 
To lift themselves they strove, so fast were glued 
Their pennons. Barbariccia, as the rest. 
That chance lamenting, four in flight dispatch'd 
From the other coast, with all their weapons arm'd. 
They, to their post on each side speedily 
Descending, stretch'd their hooks toward the fiends, 
Who flounder'd, inly burning from their scars : 
And we departing left them to that broil. 

' Umpire. — Schermidor. The reader, if he thinks it I this word, which, with Lombard!, he would alter to sgher- 
worth while, may consult the "Proposta" of Monti on I mitor. 



The enraged demons pursue Dante, but he is preserved from them by VirgiL On reaching the sixth grilf, he beholds tht 
punishment of the hypocrites j which is, to pace continually round the gulf under the pressure of caps and hoods 
that are gilt on the outside, but leaden within. He is addressed by two of these, Cafalano and Loderingo, knights o» 
Saint Mary, otherwise called Joyous Friars of Bologna. Caiaphas is seen fixed to a cross on the ground, and lies so 
stretched along the way, that all tread on him in passing. 

T N silence and in solitude we went, 

One first, the other following his steps, 
As minor friars journeying on their road. 

The present fray had turn'd my thoughts to muse 
Upon old .^sop's fable,^ where he told 
What fate unto the mouse and frog befell ; 
For language hath not sounds more like in sense, 
Than are these chances, if the origin 
And end of each be heedfully compared. 
And as one thought bursts from another forth, 
So afterward from that another sprang, 
Which added doubly to my former fear. 
For thus I reason'd : " These through us have been 
So foil'd, with loss and mockery so complete, 
As needs must sting them sore. If anger then 
Be to their evil will conjoin'd, more fell 
They shall pursue us, than the savage hound 
Snatches the leveret panting 'twixt his jaws." 

Already I perceived my hair stand all 
On end with terror, and. look'd eager back. 

" Teacher," I thus began, " if speedily 
Thyself and me thou hide not, much I dread 
Those evil talons. Even now behind 

' jEsop's /ai/t.—The frog, who offered to carry the i when both were carried off by a kite. It is not among 
mouse across a ditch, with the intention of drowning him, I those Greek fables which go under the name of /Esop. 


/. 131. 

Scarcely had his feet 
Rcach'd to the lowest of the bed beneath, 
When over us the steep they reach'd. 

Canto XX III., ktui sa-S4. 


They urge us : quick imagination works ' 
So forcibly, that I already feel them." 

He answer'd : "Were I form'd of leaded glass, 
I should not sooner draw unto myself 
Thy outward image, than I now imprint 
That from within. This moment came thy thoughts 
Presented before mine, with similar act 
And countenance smiilar, so that from both 
I one design have framed. If the right coast 
Incline so much, that we may thence descend 
Into the other chasm, we shall escape 
Secure from this imagined pursuit." 

He had not spoke^ his purpose to the end, 
When I from far beheld them with spread wings 
Approach to take us. Suddenly my guide 
Caught me, even as a mother that from sleep 
Is by the noise aroused, and near her sees 
The climbing fires, who snatches up her babe 
And flies ne'er pausing, careful more of him 
Than of herself, that but a single vest 
Clings round her limbs. Down from the jutting beach 
Supine he cast him to that pendent rock. 
Which closes on one part the other chasm. 

Never ran water with such hurrying pace 
Adown the tube to turn a land-mill's wheel, 
When nearest it approaches to the spokes. 
As then along that edge my master ran, 
Carrying me in his bosom, as a child, 
Not a companion. Scarcely had his feet 
Reach'd to the lowest of the bed beneath, 
When over us the steep they reach'd : but fear 
In him was none ; for that high Providence, 
Which placed them ministers of the fifth fosse, 
Power of departing thence took from them all. 

' ITe had not spoke. — "Cumque ego cum angelis 
relictus stnrcm pavidus, unus ex illis tartareis ministris 
horridis ( ? horridus) hispidis ( ? hispidus) aspectuque 
procerus festinus adveniens me impellere, et quo- 

modocumque noccre conabatur : cum ecce apostolus 
velocius accurrcns, meque subito airiplens in qurndam 
locum gloiiose projecit visionis." — Alberki Viiio-, 

% XV. 


THE VISION. 58-92- 

There in the depth we saw a painted tribe, 
Who paced with tardy steps around, and wept, 
Faint in appearance and o'ercome with toil. 
Caps had they on, with hoods, that fell low down 
Before their eyes, in fashion like to those 
Worn by the monks in Cologne.' Their outside 
Was overlaid with gold, dazzling to view, 
But leaden all within, and of such weight. 
That Frederick's^ compared to these were straw. 
Oh, everlasting wearisome attire! 

We yet once more with them together turn'd 
To leftward, on their dismal moan intent. 
But by the weight opprest, so slowly came 
The fainting people, that our company 
Was changed, at every movement of the step. 

Whence I my guide address'd : "See that thou find 
Some spirit, whose name may by his deeds be known; 
And to that end look round thee as thou go'st/' 
Then one, who understood the Tuscan voice, 
Cried after us aloud : " Hold in your feet, 
Ye who so swiftly speed through the dusk air. 
Perchance from me thou shalt obtain thy wish/' 

Whereat my leader, turning, me bespake : 
" Pause, and then onward at their pace proceed." 
I stayed, and saw two spirits in whose look 
Impatient eagerness of mind was mark'd 
To overtake me; but the load they bare 
And narrow path retarded their approach. 

Soon as arrived, they with an eye askance 
Perused me, but spake not : then turning, each 
To other thus conferring said : " This one 
Seems, by the action of his throat, alive; 
And, be they dead, what privilege allows 
They walk unmantled by the cumbrous stole?" 
Then thus to me : " Tuscan, who visitest 

' Monks in Cologne —liidy wore large cowls. I have punished those who were guilty of high treason bj 

» FredeiicKs.—'Wve. Emperor Frederick II. is said to I wrapping them in lead, and casting them into a furnace. 






A "3. 

" That pierced spirit, whom intent 
Thou view'st, was he who gave the Pharisees 
Counsel, that it were fitting for one man 
To suffer for the people." 

Canto XXIII., lints 117-120. 

93— "7. 




The college of the mourning hypocrites, 
Disdain not to instruct us who thou art." 

" By Arno's pleasant stream," I thus replied 
"In the great city I was bred and grew, 
And wear the body I have ever worn. 
But who are ye, from whom such mighty grief. 
As now I witness, courseth down your cheeks? 
What torment breaks forth in this bitter woe ?" 

"Our bonnets gleaming bright with orange hue. 
One of them answer'd, " are so leaden gross, 
That with their weight they make the balances 
To crack beneath them. Joyous friars' we were, 
Bologna's natives ; Catalano I, 
He Loderingo named ; and by thy land 
Together taken, as men used to take 
A single and indifferent arbiter. 
To reconcile their strifes. How there we sped, 
Gardingo's vicinage^ can best declare." 

"Oh, friars!" I began, "your miseries -" 

But there brake off, for one had caught mine eye, 
Fix'd to a cross with thriee stakes on the ground : 
He, when he saw me, writhed himself, throughout 
Distorted, ruffling with deep sighs his beard. 
And Catalano, who thereof was 'ware. 
Thus spake : " That pierced spirit,* whom intent 


' GUiiming bright with orange hue. — It is observed by 
Venturi, that the word " ranee " does not here signify 
"rancid or disgustful," as it is explained by the old com- 
mentators, but " orange-coloured," in which sense it occurs 
in the "Purgatory," canto ii. 9. By the erroneous inter- 
pretation Miiton appears to have been misled: "Ever 
since the day peepe, till now the sun was grown some- 
what ranke." — Prose Works, v. i., p. 160, ed. 1753. 

' Joyous friars. — "Those who ruled the city of Florence 
on the part of the Ghibellines, perceiving this discontent 
and murmuring, which they were fearful might produce a 
rebellion against themselves, in order to satisfy the people, 
made choice of two knights, Frati Godenti (joyous friars) 
of Bologna, on whom they conferred the chief power in 
Florence; one named M. Catalano de' Malavoiti, the 
other M. Loderingo di Liandolo ; one an adherent of the 
Guelph, the other of the Ghibelline party. It is to be 
remarked, that the Joyous Friars were called Knights of 
St Mary, and became knights on taking that habit. Their 
robes were white, the mantle saljle, and the arms a white 
field and red cross with two stars. Their office was to 

defend widows and orphans ; they were to act as media- 
tors. They had internal regulations, like other religious 
bodies. The above-mentioned M. Loderingo was the 
founder of that order. But it was not long before they 
too well deserved the appellation given them, and were 
found to be more bent on enjoying themselves than on 
any other object. These two friars were called in by the 
Florentines, and had a residence assigned them in the 
palace belonging to the people, over against the Abbey. 
Such was the dependence placed on the character of their 
order, that it was expected they would' be impartial, and 
would save the commonwealth any unnecessary expense ; 
instead of which, though inclined to opposite parties, they 
secretly and hypocritically concurred in promoting their 
own advantage rather than the public good." — G.Viliani, 
b. vii., c. xiii. This happened in 1266. 

» Gardingo's vicinage.— T\\e name of that part of the 
city which was inhabited by llie powerful Ghibelline 
family of the Uberti, and destroyed under the partial and 
initiuitous administration of Catalano and Loceringa 

* That pierced spirit. — Caiaphas. 

124 "^"^ VISION. u«-iSi. 

Thou view'st, was he who gave the Pharisees 
Counsel, that it were fitting for one man 
■ To suffer for the people. He doth lie 
Transverse ; nor any passes, but him first 
Behoves make feeling trial how each weighs. 
In straits like this along the fosse are placed 
The father of his consort,^ and the rest 
Partakers in that council, seed of ill 
And sorrow to the Jews." I noted then, 
How Virgil gazed with wonder upon him, 
Thus abjectly extended on the cross 
In banishment eternal. To the friar 
He next his words addressed: "We pray ye tell, 
If so be lawful, whether on our right 
Lies any opening in the rock, whereby 
We both may issue hence, without constraint 
On the dark angels, that compell'd they come 
To lead us from this depth." He thus replied: 
*' Nearer than thou dost hope, there is a rock 
From the great ^ circle moving, which o'ersteps 
Each vale of horror, save that here his cope 
Is shatter'd. By the ruin ye may mount : 
For on the side it slants, and most the height 
Rises below." With head bent down awhile 
My leader stood ; then spake : " He warn'd us ill,' 
Who yonder hangs the sinners on his hook." 

To whom the friar : " At Bologna erst 
I many vices of the devil heard ; 
Among the rest was said, ' He is a liar,* 
And the father of lies I'" When he had spoke, 
My leader with large strides proceeded on, 
Somewhat disturb'd with anger in his look. 
I therefore left the spirits heavy laden. 
And, following, his beloved footsteps mark'd. 

' The father of his cofuort.— Annas, father-in-law to 

' Great.— In the former editions it was printed " next" 
The error was observed by Mr. Carlyle. 

• He warn'd us ill. — He refers to the falsehood told 
him by the demon, canto xxi. io8. 

* //e is a liar. — yo/i/t viii. 44. Dante had perhaps 
heard this text from one of the piilpits in Bologna. 



Under the escort of his faithful master, Dante, not without difficulty, makes his way out of the sixth gulf, and in 
the seventh sees the robbers tormented by venomous and pestilent serpents. The soul of Vanni Fucci, who 
had pillaged the sacristy of Saint James in Pistoia, predicts some calamities that impended over that city, and 
over the Florentines. 

T N the year's early nonage,' when the sun 

Tempers his tresses in Aquarius' urn, 
And now towards equal day the nights recede ; 
Whenas the rime upon the earth puts on 
Her dazzling sister's image,^ but not long 
Her milder sway endures ; then riseth up 
The village hind, whom fails his wintry store," 
And looking out beholds the plain around 
All whiten'd ; whence impatiently he smites 
His thighs, and to his hut returning in, 
There paces to and fro, wailing his lot, 
As a discomfited and helpless man ; 
Then comes he forth again, and feels new hope 
Spring in his bosom, finding e'en thus soon 
The world hath changed its countenance, grasps his crook, 
And forth to pasture drives his little flock : 
So me my guide dishearten'd, when I saw 
His troubled forehead ; and so speedily 
That ill was cured ; for at the fallen bridge 
Arriving, towards me with a look as sweet, 

' /* tkt year's early nonage. — " At the latter part of I *• Kaeit 

January, when the sun enters into Aquarius, and the 
equinox is drawing near, when the hoar-frosts in the 
morning often wear the appearance of snow, but are 
melted by the rising sun." 
' Her dazzling sister's image. — 

" \iyviiy fUXaivaVf aiiiXriy tru^^Q icaatv." 

ACschylus, Septem Contra Thehas, v. 490, Blomfield'i edit. 

/Eschylus, Agamemnon, v. 478, Blomjield 
• Whom fails his wintry store. — 

" A cui la roba manca." 
So in the " Purgatorio," c. xiii. 61 : 

" Cosi gli ciechi a cui la roba manca." 



3i— 51 

He turn'd him back, as that I first beheld 
At the steep mountain's foot. Regarding well 
The ruin, and some counsel first maintain'd 
With his own thought, he open'd wide his arm 
And took me up. As one, who, while he works, 
Computes his labour's issue, that he seems 
Still to foresee the effect ; so lifting me 
Up to the summit of one peak, he fix'd 
His eye upon another. " Grapple that," 
Said he, " but first make proof, if it be such 
As will sustain thee." For one capt with lead 
This were no journey. Scarcely he, though light, 
And I, though onward push'd from crag to crag, 
Could mount. And if the precinct of this coast 
Were not less ample than the last, for him 
I know not, but my strength had surely failed. 
But Malebolge all toward the mouth 
Inclining of the nethermost abyss. 
The site ^of every valley hence requires, 
That one side upward slope, the other fall. 

At length the point from whence^ the utmost stone 
Juts down, we reach'd ; soon as to that arrived, 
So was the breath exhausted from my lungs 
I could no further, but did seat me there. 

" Now needs thy best of man ;" so spake my guide: 
" For not on downy plumes,^ nor under shade 
Of canopy reposing, fame is won ; 
Without which whosoe'er consumes his days, 
Leaveth such vestige of himself on earth. 
As smoke in air, or foam upon the wave. 
Thou therefore rise : vanquish thy weariness^ 

' From whence.— lAr. Carlyle ftotes the mistake in my 
former translation, and I have corrected it accordingly. 
• Not on downy plumes. — 

" Lettor, tu dei pensar che, senza ardire, 

Senza afianno soffrir, I'uomo non puote 

Fama acquistar, ne gran cose fomire." 

Fasio degli Uberli, Dittamondo, lib. iv., cap. iv 

" Nessim mai per fuggir, o per riposo, 

Venne in nitczza fama ovver in gloria." 

FrexzL II Quadriregto, lib. ii., cap. ii. 

" Signor, non sotto I'ombra in piaggia molle 
Tra fonti e fior, tra Ninfe e tra Sirene, 
Ma in cima all' erto c faticoso colle 
Delia virlii riposto i il nostro bene." 

Tasso, Gierusalemme Liberala, c. xvii., st. 6i. 
Vanquish thy weariness. — 

" Quin corpus onustum 
Hestemis vitiis animum quoque prsgravat una, 
Atque afiigit humi divina: particulam aurae.'' 

Horace, Sat. ii., lib. ii. 78. 




By the mind's effort, in each struggle form'd 
To vanquish, if she suffer not the weight 
Of her corporeal frame to crush her down. 
A longer ladder yet remains to scale. 
From these to have escaped sufficeth not, 
If well thou note me, profit by my words." 
^ I straightway rose, and show'd myself less spent 

Than I in truth did feel me. " On," I cried, 
" For I am stout and fearless." Up the rock 
Our way we held, more rugged than before. 
Narrower, and steeper far to climb. From talk 
I ceased not, as we journey 'd, so to seem 
Least faint ; whereat a voice from the other fosse 
Did issue forth, for utterance suited ill. 
Though on the arch that crosses there I stood, 
What were the words I knew not, but who spake 
Seem'd moved in anger. Down I stoop'd to look; 
But my quick eye might reach not to the depth 
For shrouding darkness ; wherefore thus I spake : 
" To the next circle, teacher, bend thy steps, 
And from the wall dismount we; for as hence 
I hear and understand not, so I see 
Beneath, and nought discern." " I answer not," 
Said he, " but by the deed. To fair request 
Silent performance maketh best return," 

We from the bridge's head descended, where 
To the eighth mound it joins; and then, the chasm 
Opening to view, I saw a crowd within 
Of serpents terrible,^ so strange of shape 
And hideous, that remembrance in my veins 
Yet shrinks the vital current. Of her sands> 
Let Libya vaunt no more : if Jaculus, 
Pareas and Chelyder be her brood, 
Cenchris and Amphisbasna, plagues so dire 

* / saw a crowd within 

Of serpents terrible. — 
' Vidi locum horridum tenebrosutn foetoribus cxhalanti- 

bus flammis crcpitantibus serpentibus, draconrbm . . . 
repletum." — Alberici Visic, \ rz. 
' Sands. — Compare Ltican, " Pharsalia," lib. ix. 70.^ 



86— 109 

Or in such numbers swarming ne'er she shovv'd, 
Not with all Ethiopia, and whate'er 
Above the Erythraean sea is spawn'd. 

Amid this dread exuberance of woe 
Ran naked spirits wing'd with horrid fear, 
Nor hope had they of crevice where to hide, 
Or heliotrope^ to charm them out of view. 
With serpents were their hands behind them bound, 
Which through their reins infix'd the tail and head, 
Twisted in folds before. And, lo I on one 
Near to our side, darted an adder up, 
And, where the neck is on the shoulders tied, 
Transpierced him. Far more quickly than e'er pen 
Wrote O or I, he kindled, burn'd, and changed 
To ashes all, pour'd out upon the earth. 
When there dissolved he lay, the dust again 
UproH'd spontaneous, and the self-same form 
Instant resumed. So mighty sages tell. 
The Arabian Phoenix,^ when five hundred years 
Have well nigh circled, dies, and springs forthwith 
Renascent : blade nor herb throughout his life 
He tastes, but tears of frankincense^ alone 
And adorous amomum ; swaths of nard 
And myrrh his funeral shroud. As one that falls. 

' Heliotrope. — " Viridi colore est (gemma heliotropion) 
non ita acuto sed nubilo magis et represso, stcllis puniceis 
supcrspcrsa. Causa nominis de eflectu lapiUis est et 
potestate. Dejecta in labris xneis radios solis mutat 
sanguineo repercussu, utraque aqu^ splendorem aeris 
abjicit et avertit. Etiam illud posse dicitur, ut herba 
ejusdem nominis mixta et prascantationibus iegitimis 
consccrata, eum, a quocunque gestabitur, subtrahat 
visibus ohs'wxMva." —Solinus, c. xl. "A stone," says 
Boccaccio, in his humorous tale of "Calandrino," "which 
we lapidaries call heliotrope, of such extraordinary virtue, 
that the be.irer of it is effectually concealed from the 
sight of all present." — Decameron, Giorn. viii., Nov. 3. 
In Chiabrera's " Ruggicro," Scaltrimento begs of Sofia, 
who is sending him on a perilous errand, to lend him the 
heliotrope : 

"In mia man fida 
L'elitropia, j)er cui possa involarmi 
Secondo il inio talento agli occhi altrui," c. vi. 
"Trust to my hand the heliotrope, by which 
I may at will from others' eyes conceal me." 
Compare Ariosto, « II Negromante," Act iii., sc. 3 ; Pulci, 

" Morgante Maggiore," c xxv. ; and Fortiguerra, "Ricci- 
ardetto," c x., sL 17. Cower, in his " Confessio Amantis," 
lib. vii., enumerates it among the jewels in the diadem of 
the sun : 

" Jaspis and helitropius." 

• The Arabian Phoenix. — This is translated from Ovid, 
" Metamorphoses," lib. xv. : 

" Una est quiE reparat, seque ipsa reseminat ales ; 
Assyrii Phoenica vocant. Nee fruge neque herbis, 
Sed thuris lacrymis, et succo vivit amomi. 
Ha;c ubi quinque su.-e complevit secula vita, 
Ilicis in ramis, tremuteve cacumine palmx, 
Unguibus et pando nidum sibi cons'.ruit ore. 
Qua simul ut casias, et nardi lenis aristas, 
Quassaque cum fulva siibstravit cinnama myrrhi, 
Se super imponit, finitque in odoribus a;vum." 
See also Petrarch, canzone " QuaJ piu," &c. 

" Tears of frankincense. — 

" Incenso e mirra e quello onde si pasce." 
Fazio degli Uberti, "Dittamondo," in a gorgeous descrip- 
tion of the phoenix, lib. ii.. cao. v. 



He knows not how, by force demoniac dragg'd 

To earth, or through obstruction fettering up 

In chains invisible the powers of man, ; 

Who, risen from his trance, gazeth around,^ 

Bewiider'd with the monstrous agony 

He hath endured, and wildly staring sighs ; 

So stood aghast the sinner when he rose. 

Oh I how severe God's judgment, that deals out 
Such blows in stormy vengeance. Who he was, 
My teacher next inquired; and thus in few 
He answer'd : "Vanni Fucci- am I call'd, 
Not long since rained down from Tuscany 
To this dire gullet. Me the bestial life 
And not the human pleased, mule that I was, 
Who in Pistoia found my worthy den." 

I then to Virgil: "Bid him stir not hence; 
And ask him what crime did thrust him hither : once 
A man I knew him, choleric and bloody." 

The sinner heard and feign'd not, but towards .me 
His mind directing and his face, wherein 
Was dismal shame depictured, thus he spake : 
" It grieves me more to have been caught by thee 
In this sad plight, which thou beholdest, than 
When I was taken from the other life. 
I have no power permitted to deny 
What thou inquirest. I am doom'd thus low 
To dwell, for that the sacristy by me 
Was rifled of its goodly ornaments. 
And with the guilt another falsely charged. 
But that thou mayst not joy to see me thus, 
So as thou e'er shalt 'scape this darksome realm, 
Open thine ears and hear what I forebode. 

• Gazeth around.— 

" Su mi levai senza far piu parole, 

Cogli occhi intorno stupido mirando, 
Si come I'Epilentico far suole." 

Frtzzi, II Quadriregio, lib. ii., cap. iii. 

' Vanni Fucci. — He is said to have been an illegitimate 
offspring of the family of Lazari, in Pistoia, and, having 
robbed the sacristy of the church of St. James in that 
city, to have charged Vanni della Nona with the sacri- 
lege ; in consequence of which accusation the latter 
suffered death. 





Reft of the Neri first Pistoia' pines ; 
Then Florence* changeth citizens and laws ; 
From Valdimagra/ drawn by wrathful Mars, 
A vapour rises, wrapt in turbid mists. 
And sharp and eager driveth on the storm 
With arrowy hurtling o'er Piceno's field, 
Whence suddenly the cloud shall burst, and strike 
Each helpless Bianco prostrate to the ground. 
This have I told, that grief may rend thy heart." 

' PisMa. — "In May, 1301, the Bianchi party of Pistoia, 
irith the assistance and favour of the Qianchi, who ruled 
Florence, drove out the party of the Neri from the former 
place, destroying their houses, palaces, and farms." — G. 
Villani, Hist., lib. viii., c. xliv. 

' Then Florence. — "Soon after the Bianchi will be 
expelled from Florence, the Neri will prevail, and the 
laws and people will be changed." 

• From Valdimagra. — The commentators explain this 
prophetical threat to allude to the victory obtained by 
the Marquis Morello Malaspina of Valdimagra (a tract of 
country now called the Lunigiana), who put himself at 

the head of the Men, and defeated tkdr opponents, the 
Bianchi, in the Campo Piceno near Pistoia, soon after the 
occurrence related in tlie preceding note on line 142. Of 
this engagement I find no mention in Villani. Balbo 
("Vita di Dante," v. ii., p. 143) refers to Gerini, "Memorie 
Storiche di Lunigiana," tom. ii., p. 123, for the whole 
history of this Morello or Moroello. Currado Malaspina| 
is introduced in the eighth canto of the " Purgatory,", 
where it appears, that although on the present occasion! 
they espoused contrary sides, most important favours 
were nevertheless conferred by that family od our poet, at 
a subsequent period of his exile, in 1307. 




The sactilegious Fucci vents his fury in blasphemy, is seized by serpents, and flying is pursued by Cacus in the form of a 
centaur, who is described with a swarm of serpents on his haunch, and a dragon on his shoulders breathing forth 
fire. Our poet then meets with the spirits of three of his countrymen, two of whom undergo a marvellous trans- 
formation in his presence. 

"\ "\ THEN he had spoke, the sinner raised his hands^ 

Pointed in mockery, and cried: "Take them, Godl 
I level them at thee.'' From that day forth 
The serpents were my friends ; for round his neck 
One of them rolling twisted, as it said, 
"Be silent, tongue 1" Another, to his arms 
Upgliding, tied them, riveting itself 
So close, it took from them the power to move. 

Pistoia 1 ah, Pistoia ! why dost doubt 
To turn liiee into ashes, cumbering earth 
No longer, since in evil act so far 
Thou hast undone thy seed?* I did not mark, 
Through all the gloomy circles of the abyss, 
Spirit, that swell'd so proudly 'gainst his God ; 
Not him,' who headlong fell from Thebes, He fled. 
Nor utterd more; and after him there came 
A centaur full of fury, shouting, "Where, 
Where is the caitiff?" On Maremma's marsh* 

" • His hands.— 

" Le mani alzd, con ambeduo le fiche." 
So Frezzi : 

" E fe le fiche a Dio '1 superbo vermo." 

// Quadriregio, lib. iL, cap. xix. 
"lo vidi I'ira poi con crudel faccia; 
E fe le fiche a Dio il mostro rio, 
Stringendo i denti ed alzando le braccia." 

Ibid., lib. iii., c. x. 
And Trissino: 

" Poi facea con le man le fiche al cielo 

Dicendo : Togli, Iddio ; che puoi piu farmi ?" 

Vital. Liberaia, c. xii 

" The practice of thrusting out the thumb between the 
first and second fingers, to express the feelings of insult 
and contempt, has prevailed very generally among the 
nations of Europe, and for many ages had been denomi- 
nated 'making the fig,' or described at least by some 
equivalent expression." — Doners Illustrations of Shake- 
speare, voL i,, p. 492, ed. 1807. The passage in the 
original text has not escaped this diligent commen- 

' Thy seed. — Tliy ancestry. 

• Not him. — Capaneus, canto xiv. 

< On Maremmds marsh.— An extensive tract near the 
8ea-shore of Tuscany. 



19— ca 

Swarm not the serpent tribe, as on his haunch 

They swarm 'd, to where the human face begins. 

Behind his head, upon the shoulders, lay 

With open wings a dragon, breathing fire 

On whomsoe'er he met. To me my guide: 

•'Cacus' is this, who underneath the rock 

Of Aventinc spread oft a lake of blood. 

He, from his brethren parted, here must tread 

A different journey, for his fraudful theft 

Of the great herd that near him stall'd; whence found 

His felon deeds their end, beneath the mace 

Of stout Alcides, that perchance laid on 

A hundred blows,^ and not the tenth was felt." 

While yet he spake, the centaur sped away : 
And under us three spirits came, of whom 
Nor I nor he was ware, till they exclaim'd, 
"Say who are ye I" We then brake off discourse, 
Intent on these alone. I knew them not: 
But, as it chanceth oft, befell, that one 
Had need to name another. "Where," said he, 
"Doth Cianfa^ lurk?" I, for a sign my guide 
Should stand attentive, placed against my lips 
The finger lifted. If, oh, reader I now 
Thou be not apt to .credit what I tell, 
No. marvel ; for myself do scarce allow 
The witness of mine eyes. But as I look'd 
Toward them, lo ! a serpent with six feet 
Springs forth on one, and fastens full upon him : 
His midmost grasp'd the belly, a forefoot 
Seized on each arm (while deep in either cheek* 
He flesh 'd his fangs) ; the hinder on the thighs 
Were spread, 'twixt which the tail inserted curl'd 

' Cacus. — Virgil, " iEneid," lib. viii. 193. 

' A hundred blows. — Less than ten blows, out of the 
hundred Hercules gave him, had deprived him of 

• Cianfa. — He is said to have been of the family of 
Uonati at Florence. 

• In titker cheek. — " Ostendit mihi post hoc apostolus 
lacum magnum tetrum, et aquae sulpliureae plenum, in 
quo animarum multitudo demcrsa est, plenum serpentibus 
ac scorpionibus ; stabant vero ibi et daemones scrpentes 
tenenles et ora vultus et capita hominum cum eisdem 
serpentibus percutientes." — Alberici Visio, % xxiiL 

A «33- 

The other two 
Look'd on, exclaiming, "Ah! how dost thou change, 
Agnello ! " 

Canto XXV., lines 59-61. 



5«-79- HELL. — CANTO XXV. 

Upon the reins behind. Ivy ne'er clasp'dV • 

A dodder'd oak, as round the other's limbs 

The hideous monster intertwined his own. 

Then, as they both had been of burning wax,. 

Each melted into other, mingling hues. 

That which was either now was seen no more. • 

Thus up the shrinking paper,^ ere it burns, 

A brown tint glides, not turning yet to black, 

And the clean white expires. The other two 

Look'd on, exclaiming, " Ah I how dost thou change,. 

Agnello P See I thou art nor double now, 

Nor only one." The two heads now became 

One, and two figures blended in one form 

Appear'd, where both were lost. Of the four lengths 

Two arms were made : the belly an.d the chest, 

The thighs and legs, into such members changed 

As never eye hath seen. Of former shape 

All trace was vanish'd. Two, yet neither, seem'd 

That image miscreate, and so pass'd on 

With tardy steps. As underneath the scourge 

Of the fierce dog-star that lays bare the fields. 

Shifting from brake to brake the lizard seems ; 

A flash of lightning, if he thwart the road ; 

So toward the entrails of the other two 

Approaching seem'd an adder all on fire, 

As the dark pepper-grain livid and swart. 

In that part,* whence our life is nourish'd first. 

One he transpierced; then down before him fell 

Stretch'd out. The pierced spirit look'd on him, 


• Ivjf n/er clasp' d.— 

" 'Ox-oia Ktaadt ifvi( SiriDf rijai' liofuu." 

Euripides, Hecuba, v. 102. 
"Like ivy to an oak, how will 1 cling to her ! " 

• Thus up the shrinking paper. — Many of the commen- 
tators suppose thai by "papiro" is here meant the wick 
of a lamp or candle, and Lombardi adduces an extract 
from Pier Crescenzio ("Agricolt.," lib. vi., cap. ix.) to 
show that this use was then made of the plant. But Tira- 
boschi has proved that paper made of linen came into use 
towards the latter half of the fourteenth century, and that 
the inventor of it was Pier da Fabiano, who canied on 

his manufactory in the city of Trevigi; whereas paper ol 
cotton, with, perhaps, some linen mixed, was used during 
the twelfth century.— .T^r/d cklla Lett. Hal., torn, v., 
lib. i., c. iv., § iv. 

" All my bowels crumble up to dust 
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen 
■Upon a parchment ; and against this fire 
Do I shrink up." 

Shakespeare, King John, Act v., sc. 7. 

• Agnello/ — Agnello Brunelleschi. 

* In that part.— Ihe navel 



80— I IX 

But spake not; yea, stood motionless and yawn'd. 
As if by sleep or feverous fit assail'd.' 
He eyed the serpent, and the serpent him. 
One from the wound, the other from the mouth 
Breathed a thick smoke, whose vapoury columns join'd. 

Lucan= in mute attention now may hear, 
Nor thy disastrous fate, Sabellus, tell, 
Nor thine, Nasidius, Ovid* now be mute. 
What if in warbling fiction he record 
Cadmus and Arethusa, to a snake 
Him changed, and her into a fountain clear, 
I envy not ; for never face to face 
Two natures thus transmuted did he sing, 
Wherein both shapes were ready to assume 
The other's substance. They in mutual guise 
So answer'd, that the serpent split his train 
Divided to a fork, and the pierced spirit 
Drew close his steps together, legs and thighs 
Compacted, that no sign of juncture soon 
Was visible : the tail, disparted, took 
The figure which the spirit lost ; its skin 
Softening, his indurated to a rind. 
The shoulders next I mark'd, that entering join'd 
The monster's arm-pits, whose two shorter feet 
So lengthen'd, as the others dwindling shnmk. 
The feet behind then twisting up became 
That part that man conceals, which in the wretch 
Was cleft in twain. While both the shadowy smoke 
With a new colour veils, and generates 
The excrescent pile on one, peeling it off 
From the other body, lol upon his feet 
One upright rose, and prone the other fell. 
Nor yet their glaring and malignant lamps 

' At if by sltep or feverous fit assail'd.— 
" O Rome ! thy head 
It drown'd in sleep, and all thy body fev'ry." 

Ben y orison's Caliline. 
• iMcan.—" Pharsalia," lib. ix., 766 and 793 : 

"Lucan di alcun di quest! poetando 
Conta si come Sabcllo e Nasidio 
Fil punti e trasfoimati ivi passando." 

Fazio degli Ubati, Ditlamondo, 1. v., cap. xvii 

• Ovid. — " Metamorphoses," lib. iv. and v. 




Were shifted, though each feature changed beneath. 
Of him who stood erect, the mounting face 
Retreated towards the temples, and what there 
Superfluous matter came, shot out in ears 
From the smooth cheeks ; the rest, not backward dragg'd, 
Of its excess did shape the nose; and swell'd 
^ Into due size protuberant the lips. 

He, on the earth who lay, meanwhile extends 
His sharpen'd visage,^ and draws down the ears 
Into the head, as doth the slug his horns. 
His tongue, continuous before and apt 
For utterance, severs ; and the other's fork 
Closing unites. That done, the smoke was laid. • 
The soul, transform'd into the brute, glides oft", 
Hissing along the vale, and after him 
The other talking sputters ; but soon turn'd 
His new-grown shoulders on him, and in few 
Thus to another spake : " Along this path 
Crawling, as I have done, speed Buoso^ now I" 

So saw I fluctuate in successive change 
The unsteady ballast of the seventh hold : 
And here if aught my pen^ have swerved, events 
So strange may be its warrant. O'er mine eyes 
Confusion hung, and on my thoughts amaze. 

Yet scaped they not so covertly, but well 
I mark'd Sciancato :* he alone it was 
Of the three first that came, who changed not : thou 
The other's fate, Gaville 1^ still dost rue. 

' His sharpened visage. — Compare Milton, " Paradise 
Lost," b. X., 511, &c. 

• Btioso. — He is also said by some to have been of the 
Donati family, but by others of the AbbatL 

• My pen.— homhdi\di justly prefers "la pcnna" to "la 
lingua ;" but, when he teils us that the former is in the 
Nidobeatina, and the latter in the other editions, he 
ought to have excepted at least Landino's of 14S4, and 
Vellutello's of 1 S44, and, perhaps, many besides these. 

* Sciancaio. — Puccio Sciancato, a noted robber, whose 
family, Venturi says, he has not been able to discover. 
The Latin annotator on the Monte Casino MS. informs 
us that he was one of the Galigai of Florence, the decline 
of which house is mentioned in the " Paradise," canto 
xvi. 96. 

' Gaville! — Francesco Guercio Cavalcante was killed 
at Gaville, near Florence ; and in revenge of his death 
several inhabitants of that district were put to death. 



Remounting by the steps, down which they had descended to the seventh gulf, they go forward to the arch that stretches 
over the eighth, and from thence behold numberless flames wherein are punished the evil counsellors, each flame 
containing a sinner, save one, in which were Diomede and Ulysses, the latter of whom relates the manner ol 

his death. 

Tj^LORENCE, exult I for thou so mightily 

''■ Hast thriven, that o'er land and sea* thy wings 

Thou beatest, and thy name spreads over hell. 

Among the plunderers, such the three I found 

Thy citizens ; whence shame to me thy son, 

And no proud honour to thyself redounds. 

But if our minds,*^ when dreaming near the dawn, 
Are of the truth presage ful, thou ere long 
Shalt feel what Prato^ (not to say the rest) 
Would fain might come upon thee; and that chance 
Were in good time, if it befell- thee now. 
Would so it were, since it must needs befall I 
For as time* wears me, I shall grieve the more. 

We from the depth departed ; and my guide 
Remounting scaled the flinty steps,* which late 
We downward traced, and drew me up the steep. 
Pursuing thus our solitary way 

^ O'er land and sea. — 
" For he can spread thy name o'er lands and seas." 

Millon, Sonnet viii. 

• But if our minds. — 

" Namque sub Auroram, jam dormitante luccrni, 
Somnia quo cerni tempore vera solent." 

Ovid, Epist. xix. 
The same poetical superstition is alluded to in the " Pur- 
g.itory," canto ix. and xxvii. 

• Shalt feel what Prato. — The poet prognosticates the 
calamities which were soon to befall his native city, and 
which, he says, even her nearest neighbour, I'rato, would 
wish her. The caJamities more particularly pointed at 

are said to be the fall of a wooden bridge over the Arno, 
in May, 1304, where a large multitude were assembled to 
witness a representation of hell and the infernal torments, 
in consequence of which accident many lives were lost ; 
and a conflagration, that in the following month destroyed 
more than 1,700 houses, many of them sumptuous build- 
ings. See G. Villani, " Hist.," lib. viii., c. Ixx. and Ixxi. 

' As time. — " 1 shall feel all calamities more sensibly 
as I am further advanced in life." 

> The flinty steps.— \ cvAwxi, after DanicUo and Volpi, 
expLiins the word in the origin.-il, "borni," to mean the 
stones that project from a wall, for other buildings to be 
joined to, which the workmen call " toothingis." 

/. 137- 

The guide, who mark'd 
How I did gaze attentive, thus began : 
' Within these ardours are the spirits, each 
Swathed in confining fire." 

Canto XXVI. , lines 46-49. 


Among the crags and splinters of the rock, 
Sped not our feet without the help of hands. 

Then sorrow seized me, which e'en now revives. 
As my thought turns again to what I saw, 
And, more than I am wont,^ I rein and curb 
The powers of nature in me, lest they run 
Where Virtue guides not ; that, if aught of good 
My gentle star or something better gave me, 
I envy not myself the precious boon. 

As in that season, when the sun least veils 
His face that lightens all, what time the fly 
Gives way to the shrill gnat, the peasant then, 
Upon some cliff reclined, beneath him sees 
Fire-flies innumerous spangling o'er the vale. 
Vineyard or tilth, where his day-labour lies ; 
With flames so numberless throughout its space 
Shone the eighth chasm, apparent, when the depth 
Was to my view exposed. As he, whose wrongs* 
The bears avenged, at its departure saw 
Elijah's chariot, when the steeds erect 
Raised their steep flight for heaven ; his eyes, meanwhile, 
Straining pursued them, till the flame alone, 
Upsoaring like a misty speck, he kenn'd : 
E'en thus along the gulf moves every flame, 
A sinner so enfolded close in each. 
That none exhibits token of the theft. 

Upon the bridge I forward bent to look. 
And grasp'd a flinty mass, or else had fallen, 
Though push'd not from the height. The guide, who mark'd 
How I did gaze attentive, thus began : 
" Within these ardours are the spirits, each 
Swathed in confining fire." " Master I thy word," 


' More than I am wont.—" When I reflect on the 
punishment allotted to those who do not give sincere and 
upright advice to others, I am more anxious than ever not 
to abuse to so bad a purpose those talents, whatever they 
may be, which Nature, or rather Providence, has con- 
ferred on me." It is probable that this declaration was 

the result of real feeling in the mind of Dante, whose 
political character would have given great weight to any 
opinion or party he had espoused, and to whom indigence 
and exile might have ofTered temptations to deviate from 
that line of conduct which a strict sense of duty prescribed. 
' As he, whose wrc/igs. — 2 Kings ii. 




SO— 8a 

I answer'd, " hath assured me ; yet I deem'd 

Already of the truth, already wish'd 

To ask thee who is in yon fire, that comes 

So parted at the summit, as it seem'd 

Ascending from that funeral pile* where lay 

The Theban brothers." He replied : " Within, 

Ulysses there and Diomede endure 

Their penal tortures, thus to vengeance now 

Together hasting, as erewhile to wrath. 

These in the flame with ceaseless groans deplore 

The ambush of the horse,* that open'd wide 

A portal for that goodly seed to pass, 

Which sow'd imperial Rome ; nor less the guile 

Lament they, whence, of her Achilles 'reft, 

Deidamia yet in death complains. 

And there is rued the stratagem that Troy 

Of her Palladium spoil'd." " If they have power 

Of utterance from within these sparks," said I, 

" Oh, master ! think my prayer a thousand-fold 

In repetition urged, that thou vouchsafe 

To pause till here the horned flame arrive. 

See, how toward it with desire I bend." 

He thus : " Thy prayer is worthy of much praise. 
And I accept it therefore : but do thou 
Thy tongue refrain : to question them be mine ; 
For I divine thy wish ; and they perchance. 
For they were Greeks,^ might shun discourse with thee." 

When there the. flame had come, where time and place 
Seem'd fitting to my guide, he thus began : 
" Oh, ye, who dwell two spirits in one fire ! 
If, living, I of you did merit aught, 


• Ascending from that funeral pile. — The flame is said 
to have divided on the funeral pile which consumed the 
bodies of Eteocles and Polynices. 

" Ecce iterum fratris primos ut contigit artus 
Ignis edax, Iremuere rogi, et novus advena busto 
Pellitur, cxundant diviso vertice flammx, 
Akernosque apices abrupta luce coruscant." 

Statins, Thebais, lib. xii 

» The ambush of the horse.— "'V]\e ambush of the 
wooden horse, that caused ^neas to quit the city of Troy 
and seek his fortune in Italy, where his descendants 
founded the Roman Empire." 

' For they were Greeks. — By this it is, perhaps, implied 
that they were haughly and arrogant So, in our poet's 
twenty-fourth Sonnet, he says: 

" Ed ella mi rispose, come un Greca" 

8l — 113. 




Whate'er the measure were of that desert, 
When in the world my lofty strain I pour'd, 
Move ye not on, till one of you unfold 
In what clime death o'ertook him self-destroy'd." 
Of the old flame forthwith the greater horn 
Began to roll, murmuring, as a fire 
That labours with the wind, then to and fro 
Wagging the top, as a tongue uttering sounds, 
Threw out its voice, and spake : " When I escaped 
From Circe, who beyond a circling year 
Had held me near Caieta^ by her charms, 
Ere thus ^neas yet had named the shore ; 
Nor fondness for my son,^ nor reverence 
Of my old father, nor return of love. 
That should have crown'd Penelope with joy, 
Could overcome in me the zeal I had 
To explore the world, and search the ways of life, 
Man's evil and his virtue. Forth I sail'd 
Into the deep illimitable main, 
With but one barque, and the small faithful band 
That yet cleaved to me. As Iberia far, 
Far as Marocco, either shore I saw, 
And the Sardinian and each isle beside 
Which round that ocean bathes. Tardy with age 
Were I and my companions, when we came 
To the strait pass,^ where Hercules ordain'd 
The boundaries not to be o'erstepp'd by man. 
The walls of Seville to my right I left. 
On the other hand already Ceuta past. 
'Oh, brothers I' I began, 'who to the west 
Through perils without number now have reach'd ; 
To this the short remaining watch, that yet 

' Ca»V/a.— Virgil, " JEnexA," lib. vii. I. 
• Nor fondness for my son. — Imitated by Tasso, 
" Gierusalenune Liberata,"c. viii., st. 7 : 

" Ne timor di fatica 6 di periglio, 
Ne vaghczza del regno, ne pietade 
Del vecchio genitor, si degno affetto 
Intiepedir nel generoso petto." 

This imagined voyage ol Ulysses into the Atlantic is 
alluded to by Pulci ; 

" E sopralutto commendava Ulisse, 
Che per veder nell' altro mondo gisse." 

Morgante Maggiore, c. xxv. 

And by Tasso, " Gierusalenime Liberata," c xv. 25. 
• The strait pass.— The straits of Gibraltar. 



SO— 8a 

I answer'd, " hath assured me ; yet I deem'd 

Already of the truth, already wish'd 

To ask thee who is in yon fire, that comes 

So parted at the summit, as it seem'd 

Ascending from that funeral pile^ where lay 

The Theban brothers." He replied : " Within, 

Ulysses there and Diomede endure 

Their penal tortures, thus to vengeance now 

Together hasting, as erewhile to wrath. 

These in the flame with ceaseless groans deplore 

The ambush of the horse,^ that open'd wide 

A portal for that goodly seed to pass, 

Which sow'd imperial Rome ; nor less the guile 

Lament they, whence, of her Achilles 'reft, 

Dei'damia yet in death complains. 

And there is rued the stratagem that Troy 

Of her Palladium spoil'd." " If they have power 

Of utterance from within these sparks," said I, 

" Oh, master I think my prayer a thousand-fold 

In repetition urged, that thou vouchsafe 

To pause till here the horned flame arrive. 

See, how toward it with desire I bend." 

He thus : " Thy prayer is worthy of much praise, 
And I accept it therefore : but do thou 
Thy tongue refrain : to question them be mine ; 
For I divine thy wish ; and they perchance. 
For they were Greeks,^ might shun discourse with thee." 

When there the. flame had come, where time and place 
Seem'd fitting to my guide, he thus began : 
" Oh, ye, who dwell two spirits in one fire I 
If, living, I of you did merit aught, 

• Ascending from that funeral pile. — The flame is said 
to have divided on the funeral pile which consumed the 
bodies of Eteocles and Polynices. 

" Ecce itenim fratris primos ut contigit artus 
Ignis edax, tremuere rogi, et novus advena busto 
Pelhtur, exundant diviso vertice fiammx, 
Alternosque apices abrupta luce coruscant." 

Slatius, Tketais, lib. xii 

* The ambush of the horse.— "Tht ambush of the 
wooden horse, thai caused /Eneas to quit the city of Troy 
and seek his fortune in Italy, where his descendants 
founded the Roman Empire." 

' For they were Greeks. — By this it is, perhaps, implied 
that they were haughty and arrogant So, in our poet's 
twenty-fourth Sonnet, he says : 

" Ed ella mi rispose, come un Greca" 

8l— H2. 




Whate'er the measure were of that desert, 
When in the world my lofty strain I pour'd, 
Move ye not on, till one of you unfold 
In what clime death o'ertook him self-destroy'd." 
Of the old flame forthwith the greater horn 
Began to roll, murmuring, as a fire 
That labours with the wind, then to and fro 
Wagging the top, as a tongue uttering sounds, 
Threw out its voice, and spake : " When I escaped 
From Circe, who beyond a circling year 
Had held me near Caieta^ by her charms, 
Ere thus ^neas yet had named the shore; 
Nor fondness for my son,^ nor reverence 
Of my old . father, nor return of love. 
That should have crown'd Penelope with joy, 
Could overcome in me the zeal I had 
To explore the world, and search the ways of life, 
Man's evil and his virtue. Forth I sail'd 
Into the deep illimitable main, 
With but one barque, and the small faithful band 
That yet cleaved to me. As Iberia far, 
Far as Marocco, either shore I saw. 
And the Sardinian and each isle beside 
Which round that ocean bathes. Tardy with age 
Were I and my companions, when we came 
To the strait pass,' where Hercules ordain'd 
The boundaries not to be o'erstepp'd by man. 
The walls of Seville to my right I left. 
On the other hand already Ceuta past. 
'Oh, brothers!' I began, 'who to the west 
Through perils without number now have reach'd ; 
To this the short remaining watch, that yet 

• OkV/it.— Virgil, "j^neid," lib. vii. I. 

• A/or fondntss for my son. — Imitated by Tasso, 
" Gierusalemme Liberata," c. viii., st. 7 : 

" Ne timor di fatica 6 di periglio, 
Ne vaghezza del regno, ne pietade 
Del vecchio genltor, si degno affetto 
Intiepedir nel generoso petto." 

This imagined voyage of Ulysses into the Atlantic is 
alluded to by Pulci : 

" E sopratutto commendava Ulisse, 
Che per veder nell' altro mondo gisse." 

Morgante Maggiore, c. xxv. 
And by Tasso, " Gierusalemme Liberata," c. xv. 25. 
» The strait pass.— I'ii^ straits of Gibraltar. 




Our senses have to wake, refuse not proof 
Of the unpeopled world, following the track 
Of Phoebus. Call to mind from whence ye sprang: 
Ye were not form'd to live the life of brutes, 
But virtue to pursue, and knowledge high.' 
With these few words I sharpen'd for the voyage 
The mind of my associates, that I then 
Could scarcely have withheld them. To the dawn 
Our poop we turn'd, and for the witless flight 
Made our oars wings, ^ still gaining on the left. 
Each star of the other pole night now beheld,* 
And ours so low, that from the ocean floor 
It rose not. Five times re-illumed, as oft 
Vanish'd the light from underneath the moon, 
- Since the deep way we enter'd, when from far 
Appear'd a mountain dim,^ loftiest methought 
Of all I e'er beheld. Joy seized us straight ; 
But soon to mourning changed. From the new land 
A whirlwind sprung, and at her foremost side 
Did strike the vessel. Thrice* it whirl'd her round 
With all the waves ; the fourth time lifted up 
The poop, and sank the prow : so fate decreed : 
And over us the booming billow closed."* 

' Made our oars wings. — 

" OOf tiilipt' iffTiii, rd rt irrepii vtivai jriXowai." 

Homer, Odyssey, xi. 124. 
So Chiabrera, " Canz. Eroiche," xiii : 

" Faro de' remi un volo." 
And Tasso, Ibid., 26. 

' Ni^ht now deheld—PetTZxch is here cited by Loin- 
bardi : 

" Ne li su sopra il cerchio della luna 
Vide mai tante stelle alcuna notie." 

Cam., xxxvii. I. 
" Nor there above the circle of the moon 
Did ever night behold so many stars." 
■ • A mountain dim. — The mouptain of Purgatory. 
Amongst the various opinions of theologians respecting 
the situation of the terrestrial paradise, Pictro Lombardo 
relates that " it was separated by a long space, either of 
Ma or land, from the regions inhabited by men, and 

placed in the ocean, reaching as far as to the lunar circle, 
so that the waters of the deluge did not reach iV—Sent., 
lib. iL, dist 1 7. Thus Lombardi. 

* Ihrice.— 

" Ast ilium ter fluctus ibidem 

Torquet agens circum, et rapidus vorat aequore vortex." 

Virgil, ACiteid, lib. L 1 16. 

» Closed. — Venturi refers to Pliny and Solinus for the 
opinion that Ulysses was the founder of Lisbon, from 
whence he thinks it was easy for the fancy of a poet to 
send him on yet further enterprises. Perhaps the story 
(which it is not unlikely that our author will be found to 
have borrowed from some legend of the Middle Ages) 
may have taken its rise partly from the obscure oracle 
returned by the ghost of Tiresias to Ulysses (see the 
eleventh book of the " Odyssey "), and partly from the 
fate which there was reason to suppose had befallen some 
adventurous explorers of the Atlantic Ocean. 



The poet, treating of the same punishment as in the last canto, relates that he turned towards a flame in which was the 
Count Guido da Montefeltro, whose inquiries respecting the state of Romagna he answers ; and Guido is thereby 
induced to declare who he is, and why condemned to that torment 

XT OW upward rose the flame, and still'd its light 

To speak no more, and now pass'd on with leave 
From the mild poet gain'd ; when following came 
Another, from whose top a sound confused. 
Forth issuing, drew our eyes that way to look. 

As the Sicilian bull,' that rightfully 
His cries first echoed who had shaped its mould, 
Did so rebellow, with the voice of him 
Tormented, that the brazen monster seem'd 
Pierced through with pain ; thus, while no way they found, 
Nor avenue immediate through the flame, 
Into its language turn'd the dismal words : 
But soon as they had won their passage forth, 
Up from the point, which vibrating obey'd 
Their motion at the tongue, these sounds were heard : 
"Oh, thou I to whom. I now direct my voice. 
That lately didst exclaim in Lombard phrase, 
'Depart thou; I solicit thee no more;' 
Though somewhat tardy I perchance arrive, 
Let it not irk thee here to pause awhile, 
And with me parley : lo I it irks not me, 
And yet I burn. If but e'en now thou fall 
Into this blind world, from that pleasant land 
Of Latium, whence I draw my sum of guilt, 
Tell me if those who in Romagna dwell 

• The Sicilian bull.— The engine of torture invented by Perilhis, for the tyrant Phalaris; 




Have peace or war. For of the mountains there^ 
Was I, betwixt Urbino and the height 
Whence Tiber first unlocks his mighty flood." 

Leaning I listen'd yet with heedful ear, 
When, as he touch'd my side, the leader thus : 
" Speak thou : he is a Latian." My reply 
Was ready, and I spake without delay : 
" Oh, spirit I who art hidden here below, 
Never was thy Romagna without war 
In her proud tyrants' bosoms, nor is now: 
But open war there left I none. The state, 
Ravenna hath maintain'd this many a year. 
Is steadfast. There Polenta's eagle*^ broods ; 
And in his broad circumference of plume 
O'ershadows Cervia. The green talons grasp 
The land,^ that stood erewhile the proof so long 
And piled in bloody heap the host of France. 

"The old mastiff of Verruchio and the young,* 
That tore Montagna^ in their wrath, still make, 
Where they are wont, an auger of their fangs. 

' Of the mountains there. — Montefeltro. 

' Polenta' s eagle.— GwAo Novello da Polenta, who bore 
an eagle for his coat of arms. The name of Polenta was 
derived from a castle so called, in the neighbourhood of 
Brittonoro. Cervia is a small maritime city, about fifteen 
miles to the south of Ravenna. Guido was the son of 
Ostasio da Polenta, and made himself master of Ravenna 
in 1265. In 1322 he was deprived of his sovereignty, and 
died at Bologna in the year following. This last and 
most munificent patron of Dante is himself enumerated, 
by the historian of Italian literature, among the poets of 
his time. Tiraboschi, " Storia della Lett. Ital.," torn, v., 
lib. iii., c. ii., § xiii. The passage in the text might have 
removed the uncertainty which Tiraboschi expressed, 
respecting the duration of Guido's absence from Ravenna, 
when he was driven from that city in 1295, by the arms 
of Pietro, Archbishop of Monreale. It must evidently 
have been very short, since his government is here repre- 
sented (in 1300) as not having suffered any material dis- 
turbance for many years. In the Proemium to the Anno- 
tations on the "Decameron" of Boccaccio, written by 
those who were deputed to that work, Ediz. Giunti, 1573, 
it is said of Guido Novello, " Del quale si leggono ancora 
alcune composizioni, per poche che elle sieno, secondo 
quella eti, belle e Icggiadre;" and in the collection edited 
by AUacci at Naples, 1661, p. 382, is a sonnet of his, 
which breathes a high and pure spirit of Platonism. 
Among the MSS. of the "Iliad" in the Ambrosian 
Library at Milan, described by Mai, there is one that was 
in the possession of Guido. lliadis Fragmenta, &•<•., foL, 

Medial. 18 19. Proemium, p. xlviiL It was, perhaps, 
seen by Dante. To this account I must now subjoin that 
which has since been given, but without any reference to 
authorities, by Troya: "In the course of eight years, 
from 131010 1318, Guido III. of Polenta, father of Fran- 
cesca, together with his sons Bernardino and Ostasio, 
had died. A third son, named Bannino, was father of 
Guido IV. Of these two it is not known whether they 
held the lordship of Ravenna, But it came to the sons of 
Ostasio, Guido V, called Novello, and Rinaldo, the arch- 
bishop: on the sons of Bernardino devolved the sove- 
reignty of the neighbouring city of Cervia." — Veltro 
Allegorico di Dante, ed. 1826, p. 176. 

• The land. — The territory of Foili, the inhabitants of 
which, in 1282, were enabled, by the stratagem of Guido 
da Montefeltro, who then governed it, to defeat with great 
slaughter the French army by which it had been besieged. 
See G. Villani, lib. vii., c. Ixxxi. The poet informs Guido, 
its former ruler, that it is now in the possession of Sini- 
baldo Ordolaffi, or Ardelaffi, whom he designates by his 
coat of arms, a lion vert. 

• Tlie old mastiff of Vemuhio and the young. — Mala- 
testa and Malatestino his son, lords of Rimini, called, 
from their ferocity, the mastiffs of Verruchio, which was 
the name of their castle. Malatestino was, perhaps, the 
husband of Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta. 
See Notes to canto v. 1 13. 

• /l/(7;j/a^(Z.— Montagna de' Parcitati, a noble knight, 
and leader of the Ghibelline party at Rimini, murdered 
by Malatestino. 




" Lamone's city, and Santerno's,^ range 
Under the lion of tiie snowy lair,*^ 
Inconstant partisan, that changeth sides, 
Or ever summer yields to winter's frost. 
And she. whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave,^ 
As 'twixt the level and the steep she lies, 
Lives so 'twixt tyrant power and liberty. 

" Now tell us, I entreat thee, who art thou : 
Be not more hard than others. In the world, 
So may thy name still rear its forehead high." 

Then roar'd awhile the fire, its sharpen'd point 
On either side waved, and thus breathed at last: 
" If I did think my answer were to one 
Who ever could return unto the world, 
This flame should rest unshaken. But since ne'er, 
If true be told me, any from this depth 
Has found his upward way, I answer thee, 
Nor fear lest infamy record the words. 

"A man of arms* at first, I clothed me then 
In good Saint Francis' girdle, hoping so 
To have made amends. And certainly my hope 
Had fail'd not, but that he, whom curses light on, 
The high priest,® again seduced me into sin. 
And how, and wherefore, listen while I tell. 
Long as this spirit moved the bones and pulp 
My mother gave me, less my deeds bespake 
The nature of the lion than the fox.* 
All ways of winding subtlety I knew. 
And with such art conducted, that the sound 
Reach'd the world's limit. Soon as to that part 

' Lamor.^s city, and Santerno's. — Lamone is the river 
at Faenza, and Santerno at Itnola. 

' The lion of the snowy lair. — Machtnardo Pagano, 
whose arms were a lion azure on a field argent ; men- 
tioned again in the " Purgatory," canto xiv. 122. See 
G. Villani passim, where he is called Machinardo da 

• Whose flank is wash'd of Savio's wave. — Cesena, 
situated at the foot of a mountain, and washed by the 
river Savio, that often descends with a swollen and rapid 
stream from the Apennine. 

* A man of arms. — Guido da Montefeltro. 

• The high priest.— Bomia.c&Vni. 

' The nature of the lion than tJiefox. — 

" Non furon leonine ma di volpe." 

So Pulci, "Morgante Maggiore," c xix. : 

" E furon le sue opre e le sue colpe 
Non creder leonine ma di volpe." 

" Fraus quasi vulpeculse, vis leonis videtur." 

Cicero de OJjiciis, lib. i., c. 13. 


Have peace or wa^. 
Was I, betwixt T 
Whence Tiber l^ 

Leaning \f. 
When, as he(f 
" Speak tlio 
Was ready 
" Oh, spi4,^ 
Never v 





He, his 
In himseh 
Which used 
As in Soractt 
To cure his le^ 

• To lower sails.— 0\ir poet had the satrn. • 
thought as wlien he wrote that most beautiful passajo— 
his "Convito," beginning "E qui 6 da sapere, che siccome' 
dice TuUio in quelle di Senettute, la nalurale morte,"&c., 
p. 209. "As it hath been said by Cicero, in his treatise 
on old age, natural death is like a port and haven to us 
after a long voyage ; and even as the good mariner, wlien 
he draws near the port, lowers his sails, and enters it 
sofily with a weak and inoffensive motion, so ought we to 
lower the sails of our worldly operations, and to return to 
God with all our understanding and heart, to the end thai 
v/e may reach this haven with all quietness and with all 
peace. And herein we are mightily instructed by Nature 
in a lesson of mildness ; for in such a death itself there is 
neither pain nor bitterness ; but, as ripe fruit is lightly 
and without violence loosened from its branch, so our soul 
without grieving departs from the body in which it hath 

" So mayst thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop 
Into thy niotliers lap, or be with ease 
Gather'd, not harshly pluck'd, for death mature." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x*. 537. 

• Tkt chief 0/ the new Pharisees. — Boniface VIII., 
whose enmity to the family of Colonna prompted him to 
destroy their houses near tlie Lateran. Wishing to obtain 
possession of their other seat, Penestrino, he consulted 
with Guido da Montefeltro how he might accomplish his 
purpose, offering him at the same time absolutioi for his 
past sins, as well as for that which Jie was then tempting 
him to commit. Guido's advice was, that kind T/ords and 
fair promises would put his enemies into his pt wer ; and 
they accordingly soon afterwards fell into the snare laid 
for them, A.D. 1298. See G. Villani, lib. viiu, c. xxiii. 
There is a relation similar to this in the iiistorj of Ferreto 
Vincentino, lib. ii., anno 1294; and the write- adds tliat 
our poet had justly condemned Guido to the tjrments he 
has allotted him. See Muratori, " Script. Ita!.," torn, ix., 
p. 07a where the editor observes : " Probosi liujus faci- 

ationi fidem adjungere nemo probus velit, quod 
nxerint Bonifacii aemuli," &c. And indeed it 
seem as if Dante himself had either not heard or 
id not believed the report of Guido's having sold him- 
self thus foolishly to the Pope, when he wrote the passage 
in the " Convito," cited in the Note to line 77 ; for he soon 
after speaks of him as one of those noble spirits "who, 
when they approached the last haven, lowered the sails of 
their worldly operations, and gave themselves up to 
religion in their old age, laying aside every worldly delight 
and wish." 

• Nor against Acre one had fought. — He alludes to the 
renegade Christians, by whom the, in April, 
1291, were assisted to recover St. John d'Acre, the last 
possession of the Christians in the Holy Land. The 
regret expressed by the Florentine annalist, G. Villani, for 
the loss of this valuable fortress, is well worthy of observa- 
tion, lib. vii., c. cxliv. : " From this event Christendom 
suffered the greatest detriment : for by the loss of Acre 
there no longer remained in the Holy Land any fooling 
for the Christians ; and all our good maritime places of 
trade never afterwards derived half the advantage from 
their merchandise and manufactures ; so favourable was 
the situation of the city of Acre, in the vei7 front of our 
sea, in the middle of Syria, and as it were in the middle 
of the inhabited world, seventy miles from Jerusalem, 
both source and receptacle of every kind of merchandise, 
as well from the east as from the west ; the resort of all 
people from all countries, and of the eastern nations of 
every different tongue; so that it might be considered as 
the aliment of the world." 

* As in Scracte, Constantine besought. — So in Dante's 
treatise, " Ue Monarchia :" " Dicunt quidam adhuc, quod 
Constantinus Imperator, mundntus a lepra intercessione 
Sylvestri, tunc summi pontificis, imperii sedem, scilicet 
Romam, donavit ecclesije, cum mullis aliis imperii digni- 
tatibus," lib. iii. Compare Fazio degh Uberti, " Ditta- 
mondo," lib. ii., cap. xii. 


So me, to cure the fever of his pride, 

This man besought : my counsel to that end 

He ask'd ; and I was silent ; for his words 

Seem'd drunken: but forthwith he thus resumed: 

' From thy heart banish fear : of all offence 

I hitherto absolve thee. In return, 

Teach me my purpose so to execute. 

That Penestrino cumber earth no more. 

Heaven, as thou knowest, I have no power to shut 

And open : and the keys are therefore twain, 

The which my predecessor' meanly prized.' 

" Then, yielding to the forceful arguments, 
Of silence as more perilous I deem'd, 
And answer'd : ' Father I since thou washest me 
Clear of that guilt wherein I now must fall. 
Large promise with performance scant, be sure. 
Shall make thee triumph in thy lofty seat.' 

" When I was number'd with the dead, then came 
Saint Francis for me ; but a cherub dark 
He met, who cried, ' Wrong me not ; he is mine, 
And must below to join the wretched crew, 
For the deceitful counsel which he gave. 
E'er since I watch'd him, hovering at his hair. 
No power can the impenitent absolve ; 
Nor to repent, and will, at once consist, 
By contradiction absolute forbid.' 
Oh, misery I how I shook myself, when he 
Seized me, and cried, 'Thou haply thought'st me not 
A disputant in logic so exact!' 
To Minos down he bore me; and the judge 
Twined eight times round his callous back the tail, 
Which biting with excess of rage, he spake : 
'This is a guilty soul, that in the fire 
Must vanish.' Hence, perdition-doom'd, I rove 
A prey to rankling sorrow, in this garb." 


' My predecessor. — Celestine V. See Notes to canto iiL 

146 THE VISION. ia6-i3- 

When he had thus fulfill'd his words, the flame 
In dolour parted, beating to and fro. 
And writhing its sharp horn. We onward went, 
1 and my leader, up along the rock, 
Far as another arch, that overhangs 
The fosse, wherein the penalty is paid 
Of those who load them with committed sin. 



They arrive in the ninth gul^ where the sowers of scandal, schismatics, and heretics are seen with their limbs miserably- 
maimed or divided in different ways. Among these the poet finds Mahomet, Piero da Medicina, Curio, Mosca, and 
Bertrand de Born. 

"\ ^/"HO, e'en in words unfetter'd, might at full 

Tell of the wounds and blood that now I saw, 
Though he repeated oft the tale ? No tongue 
So vast a theme could equal, speech and thought 
Both impotent alike. If in one band 
Collected, stood the people all, who e'er 
Pour'd on Apulia's happy soil' their blood, 
Slain by the Trojans,*^ and in that long war,^ 
When of the rings* the measured booty made 
A pile so high, as Rome's historian writes 
Who errs not ; with the multitude, that felt 
The griding force of Guiscard's Norman steel,* 
And those the rest,* whose bones are gather'd yet 
At Ceperano, there where treachery 

' Happy soil. — There is a strange discordance here 
among the expounders. " 'Fortunata terra,' because.of tlie 
vicissitudes of fortune which it experienced," Landino. 
" Fortunate, with respect to those who conquered in it," 
Vellutello. " Or on account of its natural fertility," 
Venturi. "The context requires that we should under- 
stand by ' fortunata,' ' calamitous,' ' disgraziata,' to which 
sense the word is extended in the 'Vocabulary' of La 
Crusca," Lombard!. Volpi is silent. On this note the 
late Archdeacon Fisher favoured me with the following 
remark: "Volpi is, indeed, silent at the passage ; but in 
the article 'Puglia,' in his second Index, he writes, ' Dante 
la chiama fortunata, cioe pingue e feconda.' This is your 
own translation, and is the same word in meaning with 
lilmiiutv and _/&//>, in Xenophon's 'Anabasis' and Horace 

' TAe Trojans. — Some MSB. have " Romani," and 
Lombard! has admitted it into the text Venturi had, 
indeed, before met with the same reading in some edition, 
but he has not told us in which. 

• In that long war. — The war of Hannibal in Italy 

" When Mago brought news of his victories to Carthage, 
in order to make his successes more easily credited, he 
commanded the golden rings to be poured out in the 
senate-house, which made so large a heap, that, as some 
relate, they filled three modii and a half. A more pro- 
bable account represents them not to have exceeded one 
viodius." — Livy, Hist., lib. xxiii. 12. 

• The rings. — So Frezzi : 

" Non quella, che riempie i moggi d'anella." 

// Quadriregio, lib. ii., cap. 9. 

• Guiscard's Nortnan j/«/. — Robert Guiscard, who 
conquered the kingdom of Naples, and died in 11 10. 
G. Villani, lib. iv., cap. xviii. He is introduced in the 
" Paradise," canto xviii. 

• And those the rest.—Tht army of Manfredi, which, 
through the treachery of the Apulian troops, was over- 
come by Charles of Anjou in 1265, and fell in such 
numbers, that the bones of the slain were still gathered 
near Ceperano. G. Villani, lib. vii., cap. ix. See the 
" Purgatory," canto iii. 



Branded the ApuHan name, or where beyond 
Thy walls, O Tagliacozzo,> without arms 
The old Alardo conquer'd ; and his limbf. 
One were to show transpierced, another his 
Clean lopt away; a spectacle like this 
Were but a thing of nought, to the hideous sight 
Of the ninth chasm. A ruridlet, that hath lost 
Its middle or side stave, gapes not so wide 
As one I mark'd,. torn from the chin throughout 
Down to the hinder passage : 'twixt the legs 
Dangling his entrails hung, the midriff lay 
Open to view; and wretched ventricle, 
That turns the englutted aliment to dross. 
Whilst eagerly 1 fix on him my gaze, 
He eyed me^ with his hands laid his breast bare. 
And cried, " Now mark how I do rip me : lo I 
How is Mahomet mangled : before me 
Walks Ali'^ weeping, from the chin his face 
Cleft to the forelock ; and the others all. 
Whom here thou seest, while they lived, did sow 
Scandal and schism, and therefore thus are rent. 
A fiend is here behind, who with his sword 
Hacks us thus cruelly, slivering again 
Each of this realm, when we have compast round 
The dismal way ; for first our gashes close 
Ere we re-pass before him. But, say who 
Art thou, that standest musing on the rock, 
Haply so lingering to delay the pain 
Sentenced upon thy crimes." " Him death not yet," 
My guide rejoin'd, ."hath overta'en, nor sin 
Conducts- to torment ; but, that he may make 
Full trial of, your state; I who am dead 
Must through the depths of hell, from orb to orb, 
Conduct him. Trust my words ; for they are true." 


' Or -where beyond 

Thy walls, O Tagliacozzo. — 
He alludes to the victory which Charles gained over 

Conradino, by the sage advice of the Sieur de Valeri, in 
1268. G. Viliani, lib. vii., c. xxvii. 
» .4//.— The disciple of Mahomet 

A 140- 

" Now mark liovv 1 do rip mc : lo ! 
How is Mahomet mangled." 

Canto XXV in., lines 30, 31 





c « 







-More than a hundred spirits, when that they heard, 
Stood. in the fosse to mark me, through amaze 
Forgetful of their pangs. " Thou, who perchance 
Shalt shortly view the sun, this warning thou 
Bear to Dolcino:^ bid him, if he wish not 
Here soon to follow me, that with good store 
Of food he arm him, lest imprisoning snows 
Yield him a victim to Novara's power ; 
No easy conquest else : " with foot upraised 
For stepping, spake Mahomet, on the ground 
Then fix'd it to depart. Another shade, 
Pierced in the throat, his nostrils mutilate 
E'en from beneath the eyebrows, and one ear 
Lopt off, who, with the rest, through wonder stood 
Gazing, before the rest advanced, and bared 
His windpipe, that without was all o'ersmear'd 
With crimson stain. "Oh, thou I" said he, "whom sin 
Condemns not, and whom erst (unless too near 
Resemblance do deceive me) I aloft 
Have seen on Latian ground, call thou to mind 
Piero of Medicina,^ if again 
Returning, thou behold'st the pleasant land* 
That from Vercelli slopes to Mercabo ; 
And there instruct the twain,* whom Fano boasts 
Her worthiest sons, Guido and Angelo, 
That if 'tis given us here to scan aright 

' DoUino.-" In 1^05 a friar, called Dolcino, who be- 
longed to no regular order, contrived to raise in Novara, 
in Lombard/, a laige company of the meaner sort of 
people, declaring himself to be a true apostle of Christ, 
and promulgating a community of property and of wives, 
with many other such heretical doctrines. He blamed 
the Pope, cardinals, and other prelates of the holy Church, 
for not observing their duty, nor leading the angelic life, 
and affirmed that he ought to be pope. He was followed 
by more than 3,000 men and women, who lived promis- 
cuously on the mountains together, like beasts, and, when 
they wanted provisions, supplied themselves by depreda- 
tion and rapine. This lasted for two years, till many 
being struck with compunction at the dissolute life they 
led, his sect was much diminished; and, through failure 
of food and the severity of the snows, he was taken by 
the people of Novara, and burnt, with Margarita, his 
companion, and many other men and women whom his 
errors had seduced." — G. Villani, lib. viii., c. Ixxxiv. 

Landino observes that he was possessed of singular elo- 
quence, and that both he and Margarita endured their 
fate with a firmness worthy of a better cause. For a 
further account of him, see Muratori, " Rcrum Italicarum 
Scriptores,"tom. ix., p. 427. Fazio degli Uberti, speaking 
of the polygamy allowed by Mahomet, adds : 

"E qui con fra Dolcin par che s'intenda." 

Ditlavtondo, lib. v., cap. xii. 

' Meiiicina. — A place in the territory of Bologna. Piero 
fomented dissensions among the inhabitants of that city, 
and among the leaders of the neighbouring states. 

' The pleasant land. — Lombardy. 

' The (wain. — Guido del Casscro and Angiolello da 
Cagnnno, two of the worthiest and most distinguished 
citizens of Fano, were invited by Malatestino da Rimini 
to an entertainment, on pretence that he had some im- 
portant business to transact with them ; and, according 
to instructions given by him, they were drowned in their 
passage near Cattolica, between Rimini and Fano. 



75— loa. 

The future, they out of life's tenement' 

Shall be cast forth, and whelm'd under the waves 

Near to Cattolica, through perfidy 

Of a fell tyrant. 'Twixt the Cyprian isle 

And Balearic, ne'er hath Neptune seen 

An injury so foul, by pirates done. 

Or Argive crew of old. That one-eyed traitor 

(Whose realm, there is a spirit here were fain 

His eye had still lack'd sight of) them shall bring 

To conference with him, then so shape his end. 

That they shall need not 'gainst Focara's wind* 

Offer up vow nor prayer." I answering thus : 

" Declare, as thou dost wish that I above 

May carry tidings of ihee, who is he. 

In whom that sight doth wake such sad remembrance." 

Forthwith he laid his hand on the cheek-bone 
Of one, his fellow-spirit, and his jaws 
Expanding, cried: "Lot this is he I wot of: 
He speaks not for himself: the outcast this, 
Who overwhelm 'd the doubt in Caesar's mind,' 
Affirming that delay to men prepared 
Was ever harmful." Oh ! how terrified 
Mcthought was Curio, from whose throat was cut 
The tongue, which spake that hardy word. Then one, 
Maim'd of each hand, uplifted in the gloom 
The bleeding stumps, that they with gory spots 
Sullied his face, and cried : " Remember thee 
Of Mosca* too ; I who, alas 1 exclaim'd, 

' OvI of life's tenement. — " Fuor di lor vascllo" is con- 
strued, by the old Latin annotator on the Monte Casino 
MS. and by I.ombardi, "out of the ship." Volpi under- 
stands "vascllo " to mean "their city or country." Others 
take the word in the sense according to which, though 
not without some doubt, it is rendered in this trans- 

' Fccara's wind. — Focara is a mountain, from which a 
wind blows that is peculiarly dangerous to the navigators 
of that coast. 

• T/ie doubt in Ccesar's tnind. — Curio, whose speech 
(according to Lucari) determined Julius Cssar to proceed 
when he had arrived at Rimini (the ancient Ariminum), 
and doubted whether he should prosecute the civil 

"ToUe moras : semper nocuit difTerre paratis." 

Pharsalia, L i. 281. 

" Haste, then, thy towering eagles on their way; 
When fair occasion calls, 'tis fatal to delay."— /?(7a«. 

* Mosca. — Buondelmonte was engaged to marry a lady 
of the Amidei family, but broke his promise, and united 
himself to one of the Uonati. This was so much resented 
by the former, that a meeting of themselves and their 
kinsmen was held, to consider of the best means of re- 
venging the insult. Mosca degli Uberti, or de' Lamberti, 
persuaded them to resolve on the assassination of Buon- 
delmonte, exclaiming to them, "The thing once done, 
there is an end." The counsel and its effects were the 
source of many terrible calamities to the state of Florence : 


/. i5«- 

By the hair 
U bore the sever'd member, lantern-wise 
Pendent in hand, which look'd at us, and said, 
"Woe's mel" 

Canto XXVIII., lines Ii6-iig. 

103— 130 




* The deed once done, there is an end,' that proved 
A seed of sorrow to the Tuscan race." 

I added : " Ay, and death to thine own tribe." 
Whence, heaping woe on woe, he hurried off, 
As one grief-stung to madness. But I there 
Still linger'd to behold the troop, and saw 
Thing, such as I may fear without more proof 
To tell of, but that conscience makes me firm, 
The boon companion, ^ who her strong breastplate 
Buckles on him, that feels no guilt within. 
And bids him on and fear not. Without doubt 
I saw, and yet it seems to pass before me, 
A headless trunk, that even as the rest 
Of the sad flock paced onward. By the hair 
It bore the sever'd member, lantern-wise 
Pendent in hand, which look'd at us, and said, 
"Woe's me!" The spirit lighted thus himself; 
And two there were in one, and one in two. 
How that may be, he knows who ordereth so. 
When at the bridge's foot direct he stood, 
His arm aloft he rear'd, thrusting the head 
Full in our view, that nearer we might hear 
The words, which thus it utter'd : " Now behold 
This grievous torment, thou, who breathing go'st 
To spy the dead : behold, if any else 
Be terrible as this. And, that on earth 
Thou mayst bear tidings of me, know that I 
Am Bertrand,^ he of Born, who gave King John 

" This murder," says G. Villani, lib. v., cap. xxxviii., "was 
the cause and beginning of the accursed Guelph and 
Chibelline parlies in Florence." It happened in 1215. 
See the " Paradise," canto xvi. 139. 
' The boon companion. — 

" What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?" 
Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI., Act iii., sc. 7. 

• Ber/ran/i.—Bertrznd de Corn, Vicomte de Hautefort, Perigueux in Guicnne, who incited John to rebel 
ag.ainst his father, Henry II. of England. Bertrand 
holds a distinguished place among the Provencal poets. 
He is quoted in Dante, " De Vulgar! Eloqiientia," lib. ii., 
cap. ii., where it is said "that he treated of war, which no 
Italian poet had yet done." " Arma vero nullum Italum 

adhuc poetasse invenio." The triple division of subjects 
for poetry, made in this chapter of the " De Vulgari Elo- 
quenlia," is very remarkable. For the translation of some 
extracts from Bertrand de Bom's poems, see Millot, 
"Hist. Litteraire des Troubadours," torn, i., p. 210; but 
the historical parts of that work are, 1 believe, not to be 
relied on. Bertrand had a son of the same name, who 
wrote a poem against John, King of England. It is that 
species of composition called "the serventese," and is in 
the Vatican, a MS. in Cod. 3,204. See Bastero, "La 
Crusca Proveflzale, Roma.," 1724, p. 80. For many par- 
ticulars respecting both Bertrands, consult Raynouard's 
" Poesies des Troubadours," in which excellent work, and 
in his " Lexique Roman," Paris, i8j8, several of their 
poems, in the Provencal language, may be seen. 





The counsel mischievous. Father and son 
I set at. mutual war. For Absalom 
"And David more did not Ahithophel, 
Spurring them on maliciously to strife. 
For parting those so closely knit, my brain 
Parted, alas 1 I carry from its source, 
That in this trunk inhabits. Thus the law 
Of retribution fiercely works in me." 

/• 153- 

But Virgil roused me : " What yet gazest on ? 
Wherefore doth fasten yet thy sight below 
Amongst the maim'd and miserable shades? " 

Canto XXIX., lines 4-6. 



Dante, at the desire of Virgil, proceeds onward to the bridge that crosses the tenth gulf, from whence he hears the cries ol 
the alchemists and forgers, who are tormented therein ; but not being able to discern anything on account of the 
darkness, they descend the rock, that bounds this the last of the compartments in which the eighth circle is divided, 
and then behold the spirits who are afflicted by divers plagues and diseases. Two of them, namely, Grifolino of Arezzo, 
and Capocchio of Sienna, are introduced speaking. 

00 were mine eyes inebriate with the view 

Of the vast multitude, whom various wounds , 
"Disfigured, that they long'd to stay and weep. 

But Virgil roused me : " What yet gazest on ? . 
Wherefore doth fasten yet thy sight below 
Among the maim'd and miserable shades ? 
Thou hast not shown in any chasm beside 
This weakness. Know, if thou wouldst number them, 
That two and twenty miles the valley winds 
Its circuit, and already is the moon 
Beneath our feet: the time permitted now 
Is short ; and more, not seen, remains to see." 

" If thou," I straight replied, " hadst weigh 'd the cause, 
For which I look'd, thou hadst perchance excused 
The tarrying still." My leader part pursued 
His way, the while I follow'd, answering him. 
And adding thus : " Within that cave I deem, 
Whereon so fixedly I held my ken. 
There is a spirit dwells, one of my blood, 
Wailing the crime that costs him now so dear." 

Then spake my master : " Let thy soul no more 
Afflict itself for him. Direct elsewhere 
Its thought, and leave him. At the bridge's foot 

1 mark'd how he»did point with menacing look 

At thee, and heard him by the others named 




26— SI. 

Geri of Bello.''^ Thou so wholly then 
Wert busied with his spirit, who once ruled 
The towers of Hautefort, that thou lookedst not 
That way, ere he was gone." "Oh, guide beloved! 
His violent death yet unavenged," said I, 
•' By any, who are partners in his shame, 
Made him contemptuous ; therefore, as I think, 
He pass'd me speechless by ; and, doing so, 
Hath made me more compassionate his fate." 

So we discoursed to where the rock first show'd 
The other valley, had more light been there. 
E'en to the lowest depth. Soon as we came 
O'er the last cloister in the dismal rounds 
Of Malebolge, and the brotherhood 
Were to our view exposed, then many a dart 
Of sore lament assail'd me, headed all 
With points of thrilling pity, that I closed 
Both ears against the volley with mine hands. 

As were the torment,"^ if each lazar-house 
Of Valdichiana,^ in the sultry time 
'Twixt July and September, with the isle 
Sardinia and Maremma's pestilent fen,* 
Had heap'd their maladies all in one fosse 
Together ; such was here the torment : dire 
The stench, as issuing steams from fester'd limbs. 

We on the utmost shore of the long rock 

• Geri of Belto. — A kinsman of the poet's, who was 
murdered by one of the Sacchetti family. His being 
placed here may be considered as a proof that Dante was 
more impartial in the allotment of hii punishments than 
has generally been supposed. He was the son of IjcUo, 
who was brother to BcUincione, our poet's grandfather. 
Felli, " Mem. per la Vita di Dante," " Opere di Dante," 
tatta ediz., tom. iv., part ii., p. 23. 

• As were the torment.— \\. is very, probable that these 
lines gave Milton the idea of his celebrated description: 

" Immediately a place 
Before their eyes appcar'd, sad, noisome, dark. 
A lazar-house it secm'd, wherein were laid 
Numbers of all diseased, all maladies," &c 

Paradise Lost, b. xi. 477. 

Yet the enumeration of diseases which loUows appears to 
have been taken by Milton from the " Quadtiregio:" 

"Quivi eran zoppi, monchi, sordi, c orbi, 
Quivi era il mal podagrico e di fianc<\ 
Quivi la frenesia cogli occhi torbi. 
Quivi il dolor gridante, e non mai stanco, 
Quivi il catarro con la gran cianfarda, 
L'asma, la polmonia quivi eran' anco. 
L'idropisia quivi era grave e tarda, 
Di tutte febbri quel piano era pieno, 
Quivi quel mal, che par che la carne arda." 

Lib. ii., cap. 8. 
' Of Valdichiana. — The valley through which passes 
the river Chiana, bounded by Arezzo, Cortona, Monte- 
pulciano, and Chiusi. In the heat of autumn it was 
formerly rendered unwholesome by the stagnation of the 
water, but has since been drained by the Emperor Leo- 
pold II. The Chiana is mentioned as a remarkably 
sluggish stream, in the " Paradise," canto xiii. 21. 
* Maremina's pestilent fen.— S<x note to canto xxv. 18 

/• '55. 

Then my sight 
Was livelier to explore the depth, wherein 
The minister of the most mighty Lord, 
All-searching Justice, dooms to punishment 
The forgers noted on her dread record. 

Canle XXIX., Unes %*-$(>, 




5>— 87. HELL. CANTO XXIX. I55 

Descended still to leftward. Then my sight 
Was livelier to explore the depth, wherein 
The minister of the most mighty Lord, 
All-searching Justice, dooms to punishment 
The forgers noted on her dread record. 

More rueful was it not methinks to see 
^ The nation in yEgina' droop, what time 
Each living thing, e'en to the little worm, 
All fell, so full of malice was the air 
(And afterward, as bards of yore have told, 
The ancient people were restored anew 
From seed of emmets), than was here to see 
The spirits, that languish'd through the murky vale, 
Up-piled on many a stack. Confused they lay, 
One o'er the belly, o'er the shoulders one 
Roll'd of another; sideling crawl'd a third 
• Along the dismal pathway. Step by step 
We journey 'd on. in silence looking round, 
And listening those diseased, who strove in vain 
To lift their forms. Then two I mark'd, that sat 
Propt 'gainst each other, as two brazen pans 
Set to retain the heat. From head to foot, 
A tetter bark'd them round. Nor saw I e'er 
Groom currying so fast, for whom his lord 
Impatient waited, or himself perchance 
Tired with long watching, as of these each one 
Plied quickly his keen nails, through furiousness 
Of ne'er abated pruriency. The crust 
Came drawn from underneath in flakes, like scales 
Scraped from the bream, or fish of broader mail. 

"Oh, thou ! who with thy fingers rendest off 
Thy coat of proof," thus spake my guide to one, 
" And sometimes makest tearing pincers of them. 
Tell me if any born of Latian land 
Be among these within ; so may thy nails 
Serve thee for everlasting to this toil." 

' /» Aigtna.—He alludes to the lable of the ants changed into myrmidons, Ovid, " Metamorphoses," lib viL 



88 — 120. 

" Both are of Latium," weeping he replied, 
"Whom tortured thus thou seest : but who art thou 
That hast inquired of us ?" To whom my guide : 
" One that descend with this man, who yet lives, 
From rock to rock, and show him hell's abyss." 

Then started they asunder, and each turn'd 
Trembling toward us, with the rest, whose ear 
Those words redounding struck. To me- my liege 
Address'd him: "Speak to them whate'er thou list." 

And I therewith began : " So may no time 
Filch your remembrance from the thoughts of men 
In the upper world, but after many suns 
Survive it, as ye tell me, who ye are. 
And of what race ye come. Your punishment. 
Unseemly and disgustful in its kind, 
Deter you not from opening thus much to me." 

"Arezzo was my dwelling,"^ answer'd one, 
"And me Albero of Sienna brought 
To die by fire : but that, for which I died, 
Leads me not here. True is, in sport I told him. 
That I had learn'd to wing my flight in air; 
And he, admiring much, as he was void 
Of wisdom, will'd me to declare to him 
The secret of mine art: and only hence, 
Because I made him not a Daedalus, 
Prevail'd on one supposed his sire to burn me. 
But Minos to this chasm, last of the ten, 
For that I practised alchemy on earth. 
Has doom'd me. Him no subterfuge eludes." 

Then to the bard I spake: "Was ever race 
Light as Sienna's P Sure not France herself 
Can show a tribe so frivolous and vain." 

The other leprous spirit heard my words, 

' Aresxo was my dwelling.— Qx\^oX\no of Arezzo, who 
promised Albero, son of the Bishop of Sienna, that he 
would teach him the art of flying ; and, because he did 
noi keep his promise, Albero prevailed on his fattter to 
have him burnt for a necromancer. 

• Was ever race 

Light as Sienna st — 

The same imputation is again cast on the Siennese 
" Purgatory," canto xiii. I4(. 

121 — 138. 



And thus return'd : " Be Stricca^ ffom this charge 
Exempted, he who knew so temperately 
To lay out fortune's gifts ; and Niccolo, 
Who first the spice's costly luxury 
Discover'd in that garden,^ where such seed 
Roots deepest in the soil : and be that troop 
fc Exempted, with whom Caccia of Asciano 

Lavish'd his vineyards and wide-spreading woods, 
And his rare wisdom Abbagliato* show'd 
A spectacle for all. That thou mayst know 
Who seconds thee against the Siennese 
Thus gladly, bend this way thy sharpen'd sight, 
That well my face may answer to thy ken ; 
So shalt thou see I am Capocchio's ghost,* 
Who forged transmuted metals by the power 
Of alchemy; and if I scan thee right. 
Thou needs must well remember how 1 aped 
Creative nature by my subtle art." 

' Siricca. — This is said ironically. Stricca, Niccolo 
Salimbeni, Caccia of Asciano, and Abbagliato or Mco de' 
Folcacchleri, belonged to a company of prodigal and 
luxurious young men in Sienna, called the " brigata gode- 
reccia." Niccolo was the inventor of a new manner of 
using cloves in cookery, not very well understood by the 
commentators, and which was termed the "costiiina 
ricca" Pagliarini, in his Historical Observations on the 
" Quadriregio," lib. iii., cap. 13, adduces a passage from 
a MS. history of .Sienna, in whicli it is told that these 
spendthrifts, out of the sum raised from the sale of their 
estates, built a palace, which tliey inliabitcd in common, 
and made the receptacle of their apparatus for lu.xurious 
enjoyment ; and that, amongst their other extravagances, 
they had their horses shod with silver, and forbade their 
servants to pick up the precious shoes if they dropped 
off. The end was, as might be expected, extreme poverty 
and wretchedness. Landino says they spent 200,000 
florins in twenty months. Horses shod with silver are 
mentioned by Fazio degli Uberti : 

" Ancora in questo tempo si lii viato 

Quel Roberto Guiscardo, che d'argento 
I cavagli feno per far I'acquisto." 
Dittamoudo, 1. ii., c. 24, as corrected by Perticari. 
' In that garden. — Sienna. 

• Abbagliato. — Lombardi understands "Abbogliato" 
not to be the name of a man, but to be the epithet 
to " senno," and construes " E I'abbagliato suo senno 
proferse," " and manifested to the world the blindness of 
their understanding." So little doubt, however, is made 
of there being such a person, that AUacci speaks of his 
grandfather Folcacchicro de' Folcacchieri of Sienna as 
one who may dispute with the Sicilians the praise of being 
the first inventor of Italian poetry. Tirabosclii, indeed, 
observes that this genealogy is not authenticated by 
Allacci; yet it is difficult to suppose that he should have 
mentioned it at all, if I\Ieo de' Folcacchieri, or Abbagliato, 
as he was called, had never existed. Vol. i., p. 95, Mr. 
Mathias's edit. 

* Capocchio' s ghost. — Capocchio of Sienna, who is said 
to have been a fellow-student of Dante's in natural 



In the same gulf, other kinds of impostors, as those who have counterfeited the persons of others, or debased the current 
coin, or deceived by speech under false pretences, are described as suffering various diseases. Sinon of Troy, and 
Adamo of Brescia, mutually reproach each other with their several impostures. 

'I 1 /"HAT time resentment burn'd in Juno's breast 

For Semele against the Theban blood, 
As more than once in dire mischance was rued; 
Such fatal frenzy seized on Athamas,' 
That he his spouse beholding with a babe 
Laden on either arm, " Spread out," he cried, 
"The meshes, that I take the lioness 
And the young lions at the pass:" then forth 
Stretch 'd he his merciless talons, grasping one, 
One helpless innocent, Learchus named. 
Whom swinging down he dash'd upon a rock; 
And with her other burden,^ self-destroy'd, 
The hapless mother plunged. And when the pride 
Of all presuming Troy fell from its height. 
By fortune overwhelm'd, and the old king 
With his realm perish'd ; then did Hecuba,' 
A wretch forlorn and captive, when she saw 
Polyxena first slaughter'd, and her son. 
Her Polydorus,* on the wild sea-beach 
Next met the mourner's view, then reft of sense 
Did she run barking even as a dog ; 
Such mighty power had grief to wrench her soul. 

' Athamas.— Vxom Ovid, "Metamorphoses," lib. iv.; 
" Proiinus bolides," &c. 
' IrVilh her other burden. — 

" Seque super pontum nuUo tardata timore 
Mittit, onusque suum." 

Ovid, Metamorphoses, lib. iv. 

^Hecuba. — See Euripides, "Hecuba;" and Ovid, 
" Metamorphoses," lib. xiii. 
* Her Polydorus. — 

" Aspicit ejectum Polidori in littore corpus." 

Ovid, Metamorphoses, lib. iv. 


p. 159" 

" That is the ancient soul 
Of wretched Myrrha." 

Cemle XXX., litut 3S, 39. 





But ne'er the Furies, or of Thebes, or Troy, 
With such fell cruelty were seen, their goads 
Infixing in the limbs of man or beast. 
As now two pale and naked ghosts I saw, 
That gnarling wildly scamper'd, like the swine '. 

Excluded from his sty. One reach'd Capocchio, 
And in the neck-joint sticking deep his fangs, 
Dragg'd him, that, o'er the solid pavement rubb'd 
His belly stretch 'd out prone. The other shape, 
He of Arezzo, there left trembling, spake : 
"That sprite of air is Schicchi;^ in like mood 
Of random mischief vents he still his spite." 

To whom I answering : " Oh ! as thou dost hope 
The other may not flesh its jaws on thee. 
Be patient to inform us, who it is, 
Ere it speed hence." " That is the ancient soul 
Of wretched Myrrha,"^ he replied, " who burn'd 
With most unholy flame for her own sire, 
And a false shape assuming, so perform'd 
The deed of sin ; e'en as the other there. 
That onward passes, dared to counterfeit 
Donati's features, to feign'd testament 
The seal affixing, that himself might gain, 
For his own share, the lady of the herd." 

When vanish'd the two furious shades, on whom 
Mine eye was held, I turn'd it back to view 
The other cursed spirits. One I saw 
In fashion like a lute, had but the groin 
Been sever'd where it meets the forked part. 
Swollen dropsy, disproportioning the limbs 
With ill-converted moisture, that the paunch 
Suits not the visage, open'd wide his lips, 
Gasping as in the hectic man for drought, 
One towards the chin, the other upward curl'd. 

' Schicchi. — Gianni Schicchi, who was of the family of 
Cavalcanti, possessed such a faculty of moulding his 
feature* to the resemblance of others, that he was cm- 
ployed by Simon Donati to personate Buoso Donati, thtn 

recently deceased, and to make a will, leaving Simon his 
heir; for which service he was remunerated with a mare 
of extraordinary value, here called "the lady of the herd." 
' Myrrha. — See Ovid. "Metamorphoses," lib. x. 




"Oh, ye I who in this world of misery, 
Wherefore I know not, are exempt from pain,* 
Ihus he began, "attentively regard 
Adamo's woe.' When living, full supply 
Ne'er lack'd me of what most I coveted ; 
One drop of water now, alas I I crave. 
The rills, that glitter down the grassy slopes 
Of Casentino,* making fresh and soft 
The banks whereby they glide to Arno's stream, 
Stand ever in my view ; and not in vain ; 
For more the pictured semblance dries me up. 
Much more than the disease, which makes the flesh 
Desert these shrivell'd cheeks. So from the place, 
Where I transgress'd, stern justice urging me. 
Takes means to quicken more my labouring sighs. 
There is Romena, where I falsified 
The metal with the Baptist's form imprest, 
For which on earth I left my body burnt. 
But if I here might see the sorrowing soul 
Of Guido, Alessandro, or their brother, 
For Branda's limpid spring^ I would not change 
The welcome sight. One is e'en now within. 
If truly the mad spirits tell, that round 
Are wandering. But wherein besteads me that ? 
My limbs are fetter'd. Were I but so light, 
That I each hundred years might move one inch, 
I had set forth already on this path. 
Seeking him out amidst the shapeless crew, 
Although eleven miles it wind, not less^ 
Than half of one across. They brought me down 
Among this tribe ; induced by them, I stamp'd 
The florens with three carats of alloy."* 

' Adamcfs a'(7#.— Adamo of Brescia, at the instigation 
of Guido, Alessandro, and their brother Aghinulfo, lords 
of Romena, counterfeited the coin of Florence; for which 
crime he was burnt. Landino says that in his time the 
peasants still pointed out a pile of stones near Romena 
as the place of his execution. See Troya, "Veltro AUe- 
gorico," p. 25. 

• Casentino. — Romena is a part of Casentino. 

' Brandds limpid spring. — A fountain in Sienna 
' Less. — Lombardi justly concludes that as At'amo 
wishes to exaggerate the difficulty of finding the spirit 
whom he wished to see, " men," and not "pii" ("less," 
and not "more " than the half of a mile), is probably the 
true reading ; for there are authorities for both. 

' The florens with three carats of alloy. — The florcn 
was a coin tliat ought to have had twenty-four carats ol 

89— 1 '9- 



"Who are that abject pair," I next inquired, 
" That closely bounding thee upon thy right 
Lie smoking, like a hand in winter steep'd 
In the chill stream?" "When to this gulf I dropp'd," 
He answer'd, " here I found them ; since that hour 
They have not turn'd, nor ever shall, I ween. 
Till Time hath run his course. One is that dame, 
The false accuser' of the Hebrew youth ; 
Sinon the other, that false Greek from Troy. 
Sharp fever drains the reeky moistness out, 
In such a cloud upsteam'd." When that he heard. 
One, gall'd perchance to be so darkly named, 
With clench'd hand smote him on the braced paunch, 
That like a drum resounded : but forthwith 
Adamo smote him on the face, the blow 
Returning with his arm, that seem'd as hard. 

" Though my o'erweighty limbs have ta'en from me 
The power to move," said he, "I have an arm 
At liberty for such employ." To whom 
Was answer'd : " When thou wentest to the fire, 
Thou hadst it not so ready at command. 
Then readier when it coin'd the impostor gold." 

And thus the dropsied : " Ay, now speak'st thou true : 
But there thou gavest not such true testimony, 
When thou wast question'd of the truth, at Troy." 

" If I spake false, thou falsely stamp'dst the coin," 
Said Sinon ; " I am here for but one fault. 
And thou for more than any imp beside." 

" Remember," he replied, " oh, perjured one I 
The horse remember, that did teem with death ; 
And all the world be witness to thy guilt." 

pure gold. Villani relates that it was first used at Florence 
in 1252, an era of great prosperity in the annals of the 
republic : before which time their most valuable coinage 
was of silver — "Hist," lib. vi., c. liv. Fazio degli Uberti 
uses the word to denote the purest gold. 

" Pura era come I'oro del fiorino." 

Dittavtondo, 1. ii., cap. xiv. 

"Among ihe ruins of Chaucer's house at Woodstock they 

found an ancient coin of Florence ; I think, a florcin, 
anciently common in England." — Chaucer, Pardon. Tale, 

v.. 22QO. 

"For that the Floraines been so fair and bright." 
"Edward III., in 1344, altered it from a lower value to 
6s. 8d. The particular piece I have mentioned seems 
about that value."— f^rt/'/tf/J, History of English Poetry, 
v. ii., § ii., p. 44. 

' The false accuser. — Potiphar's wife. 

1 62 THE VISION. 120-145. 

"To thine," returned the Greek, "witness the thirst 
Whence thy tongue cracks, witness the fluid mound 
Rear'd by thy belly up before thine eyes, 
A mass corrupt." To whom the coiner thus: 
" Thy mouth gapes wide as ever to let pass 
Its evil saying. Me if thirst assails. 
Yet I am stuft with moisture. Thou art parch'd : 
Pains rack thy head : no urging wouldst thou need 
To make thee lap Narcissus' mirror up." 

I was all fix'd to listen, when my guide 
Admonish 'd : " Now beware. A little more, 
And I do quarrel with thee." I perceived 
How angrily he spake, and towards him turn'd 
With shame so poignant, as remember'd yet 
Confounds me. As a man that dreams of harm 
Befallen him, dreaming wishes it a dream. 
And that which is, desires as if it were not ; 
Such then was I, who, wanting power to speak, 
Wish'd to excuse myself, and all the while 
Excused me, though unweeting that I did. 

" More grievous fault than thine has been, less shame," 
My m.aster cried, " might expiate. Therefore cast 
All sorrow from thy soul ; and if again 
Chance bring thee where like conference is held. 
Think I am ever at thy side. To hear 
Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds." 



The poets, foflowing the sound of a loud horn, are led by it to the ninth circle, in which there are four rounds one 
enclosed within the other, and containing as many sorts of traitors j but the present canto shows only that the circle 
is encompassed with giants, one of whom, Antseus, takes them both in his arms and places them at the bottom of 
the circle. 

' I "HE very tongue,' whose keen reproof before 

Had wounded me, that either cheek was stain'd. 
Now minister'd my cure. So have I heard, 
Achilles' and his father's javelin caused 
Pain first, and then the boon of health restored. 

Turning our back upon the vale of woe, 
We cross'd the encircled mound in silence. There 
Was less than day and less than night, that far 
Mine eye advanced not : but I heard a horn 
Sounded so loud, the peal it rang had made 
The thunder feeble. Following its course 
The adverse way, my strained eyes were bent 
On that one spot. So terrible a blast 
Orlando* blew not, when that dismal rout 
O'erthrew the host of Charlemain, and quench'd 
His saintly warfare. Thitherward not long 

' Tilt very tongue. — 

" Vulnus in Herculeo quae quondam fecerat hoste 
Vulneris auxilium Pelias hasta fuit." 

Ovid, Reined io A maris, 47. 

The same allusion Tvas made by Bernard de Ventadour, a 
Proveni^al poet in the middle of ilic twelfth century; and 
Millot observes that "it was a singular instance of erudi- 
tion in a Troubadour." But it is not impossiJjle, as 
Warton remarks (" Hist of English Poetr)-," vol. ii., § x., 
p. 215) but that he migKt have been indebted for it to 
some of the early romances. In Chaucer's " Squier"s 
Tale," a sword of similar quality is introduced : 

"And other folk have wondred on the sweard, 
That could so piercen through everything; 
And fell in spech of Telephus the king, 

And of Achilles for his qiieint spere, 
For he couth with it both heale and dere." 
So Shakespeare, "2 Henry VI.," Act v., sc. I : 

" Whose smile and frown like to Achilles' spear 
Is able with the change to kill and cure." 

• Orlando. — 

" When Charlemain with all his peerage fell 
At For.tarabia." 

Milton, Paradise Lost, b. 

Sec Warton's " History of English Poetry," vol. i., ' 
p. 132: "This is the horn which Orlando won from the 
giant Jatmund, and which, as Turpin and the Islandic 
bards report, was endued with magical power, and might 
be heard at the distance of twenty miles." Charlemain 
and Orlando are introduced in the "Paradise," canto 


164 THE VISION, 17—51. 

My head was raised, when many a lofty tower 

Methought I spied. "Master," said I, "what land 

Is this?" He answer'd straight: "Too long a space 

Of intervening darkness has thine eye 

To traverse: thou hast therefore widely err'd 

In thy imagining. Thither arrived 

Thou well shalt see how distance can delude 

The sense. A little therefore urge thee on." 

Then tenderly he caught me by the hand ; 
" Yet know," said he, " ere further we advance, 
That it less strange may seem, these are not towers, 
But giants. In the pit they stand immersed. 
Each from his navel downward, round the bank." 

As when a fog disperseth gradually, 
Our vision traces what the mist involves 
Condensed in air ; so piercing through the gross 
And gloomy atmosphere, as more and more 
We near'd toward the brink, mine error fled 
And fear came o'er me. As with circling round 
Of turrets, Montereggion^ crowns his walls, 
E'en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss, 
Was turreted with giants,'' half their length 
Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from heaven 
Yet threatens, when his muttering thunder rolls. 

Of one already I descried the face, 
Shoulders, and breast, and of the belly huge 
Great part, and both arms down along his ribs. 

All-teeming Nature, when her plastic hand 
Left framing of these monsters, did display 
Past doubt her wisdom, taking from mad War 
Such slaves to do his bidding; and if she 
Repent her not of the elephant and whale, 
Who ponders well confesses her therein 
Wiser and more discreet ; for when brute force 
And evil will are back'd with subtlety, 


• J^o«f,r,^/o„.-A casile near Sienna. , Warton, are in the Arabian vein of fabling. See DHer 

CM«/f.-The gianu round tlie pit, it is remarked by | belot, « Bibliothfeque Orientale." V Rocail.. d. 717. A. 

belot, " Bibliothfeque Orientale," V. Rocail., p. 717, a. 


A «6S. 

"Oh senseless spirit ! let thy horn for thee 
Interpret : therewith vent thy rage, if rage 
Or other passion wring thee." 

Otntff XXXI., lints 64-66. 


52- 83- 



Resistance none avails. His visage seem'd 

In length and bulk as doth the pine^ that tops 

Saint Peter's Roman fane ; and the other bones 

Of like proportion, so that from above 

The bank, which girdled him below, such height 

Arose his stature, that three Friezelanders 

Had striven in vain to reach but to his hair. 

Full thirty ample palms was he exposed 

Downward from whence a man his garment loops. 

" RapheP bai ameth, sabi almi:" 

So shouted his fierce lips, which sweeter hymns 

Became not ; and my guide address'd him thus : 

" Oh, senseless spirit 1 let thy horn for thee 

Interpret : therewith vent thy rage, if rage 

Or other passion wring thee. Search thy neck, 

There shalt thou find the belt that binds it on. 

Spirit confused 1^ lo, on thy mighty breast 

Where hangs the baldrick ! " Then to me he spake : 

*' He doth accuse himself. Nimrod is this, 

Through whose ill counsel in the world no more 

One tongue prevails. But pass we on, nor waste 

Our words ; for so each language is to him, 

As his to others, understood by none." 

Then to the leftward turning, sped we forth, 
And at a sling's throw found another shade 
Far fiercer and more huge. I cannot say 
What master hand had girt him ; but he held 
Behind the right arm fetter'd, and before. 
The other, with a chain, that fasten 'd him 
From the neck down ; and five times round his form 
Apparent met the wreathed links. "This proud one 
Would of his strength against almighty Jove 

' The pine. — " The large pine of bronze, which once 
ornamented the top of the mole of Adrian, was afterwards 
employed to decorate the top of the belfry of St. Peter; 
and having (according to Buti) been thrown down by 
lightning, it was, after lying some time on the steps of 
this palace, transferred to the place where it now is, in 
the Pope's garden, by the side of the great corridor of 
BHvedere." — Lombardi. 

' Raphel, &•€. — These unmeaning sounds, it is sup- 
posed, are meant to express the confusion of languages at 
the building of the tower of Babel. 

» Spirit confused!— \ had before translated "Wild 
spirit!" and have altered it at the suggestion of Mr. 
Darley, who well observes that "anima confusa" is pecu- 
liarly appropriate to Nimrod, the author of the confusion 
at Babel. 

l66 THE VISION. 84-1 1& 

Make trial," said my guide: "whence he is thus 

Requited : Ephialtes him they call. 

Great was his prowess, when the giants brought 

Fear on the gods: those arms, which then he plied, 

Now moves he never." Forthwith I return'd : 

•'Fain would I, if 'twere possible, mine eyes, 

Of Briareus immeasurable, gain'd 

Experience next." He answer'd : " Thou shalt see 

Not far from hence Antaeus, who both speaks 

And is unfetter'd, who shall place us there 

Where guilt is 'at its depth. Far onward stands 

Whom thou wouldst fain behold, in chains, and made 

Like to this spirit, save that in his looks 

More fell he seems." By violent earthquake rock'd 

Ne'er shook a tower, so reeling to its base, 

As Ephialtes. More than ever then 

I dreaded death ; nor than the terror more 

Mad needed, if I had not seen the cords 

That held him fast. We, straightway journeying on, 

Came to Antaeus, who, five ells complete 

Without the head, forth issued from the cave. 

"Oh, thou, who in the fortunate vale,' that made 
Great Scipio heir of glory, when his sword 
Drove back the troop of Hannibal in flight, 
Who thence of old didst carry for thy spoil 
An hundred lions ; and if thou hadst fought 
In the high conflict on thy brethren's side, 
Seems as men yet believed, that through thine arnr 
The sons of earth had conquer'd ; now vouchsafe 
To place us down beneath, where numbing cold 
Locks up Cocytus. Force not that we crave 
Or Tityus' help or Typhon's, Here is one 
Can give what in this realm ye covet. Stoop 
Therefore, nor scornfully distort thy lip. 
He in the upper world can yet bestow 

' Thi fortunate vale. — The country near Carthage. I 590, &c. Dante has kept the latter of these writers in his 
See Livy, " Histi" I. xxx., and Lucan, " Pharsalia," L iv. I eye throughout all this passage. 


/ 167- 

Yet in the abyss, 
That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs, 
Lightly he placed us. 

Canto XXXI., lines 133-135. 







Renown on thee ; for he doth live, and looks 
For life yet longer, if before the time 
Grace call him not unto herself." Thus spake 
The teacher. He in haste forth stretch 'd his hands 
And caught my guide. Alcides^ whilom felt 
That grapple, straiten'd sore. Soon as my guide 
Had felt it, he bespake me thus : " This way. 
That I may clasp thee;" then so caught me up, 
That we were both one burden. As appears 
The tower of Carisenda,* from beneath 
Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud 
So sail across, that opposite it hangs ; 
Such then Antasus seem'd, as at mine ease 
I mark'd him stooping. I were fain at times 
To have past another way. Yet in the abyss, 
That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs. 
Lightly he placed us ; nor, there leaning, stay'd ; 
But rose, as in a barque the stately mast. 

' Alcides. — The combat between Hercules and Antaus 
is adduced by the poet in his treatise " De Monarchii," 
lib. ii., as a proof of the judgment of God displayed in 
the duel, according to the singular superstition of those 
times. " Certamine vero dupliciter Dei judicium aperitur 
vel ex collisione virium, sicut lit per duellum pugilum, 
qui dueliiones etiam vocantur; vel ex contentione plurium 

ad aliquod signum praevalere conantium, sicut fit per 
pugnam athletarum currentium ad bravium. Primus 
istorum modorum apud gentiles figuratus fuit in illo 
duello Herculis et Antasi,' cujus Lucanus meminit in 
quarto Pharsaliae, et Ovidius in nono de rerum transmu- 
* Tower of Carisenda, — The leaning tower at Bologna 



TTii« canto treats of the first, and, in part, of the second of those rounds, into which the ninth and last, or frozen circle, is 
divided. In the former, called Caina, Dante finds Camiccione de' Pazzi, who gives him an account of other sinners 
who are there punished ; and in the next, named Antenora, he hears in like manner from Bocca degli Abbati who his 
feUow-sufferers are. 

/'"^OULD I command rough rhymes and hoarse, to suit 

^~^ That hole of sorrow o'er which every rock 

His firm abutment rears, then might the vein 

Of fancy rise full springing ; but not mine 

Such measures, and with faltering awe I touch 

The mighty theme ; for to describe the depth 

Of all the universe, is no emprise 

To jest with, and demands a tongue not used 

To infant babbling.^ But let them assist 

My song, the tuneful maidens, by whose aid 

Amphion wall'd in Thebes ; so with the truth 

My speech shall best accord. Oh, ill-starr'd folk. 

Beyond all others wretched I who abide 

In such a mansion, as scarce thought finds words 

To speak of, better had ye here on earth 

Been flocks, or mountain goats. As down we stood 

In the dark pit beneath the giants' feet, 

But lower far than they, and I did gaze 

Still on the lofty battlement, a voice 

Bespake me thus : " Look how thou walkest. Take 

Good heed, thy soles do tread not on the heads 

Of thy poor brethren." Thereupon I turn'd, 

And saw before and underneath my feet 

* A tongue not used to infant babbling.— 

" N6 da lingua, che chiami mamma, o babbo." 
Dante, in hii treatise " Ue Vulgari Eloquentia," speaking 

of words not admissible in the loftier, or, as he calls it, 
tragic style of poetry, says : " In quorum numcro nee 
puerilia propter suam simplicitatem ut mamma et babbo,'' 
lib. ii., c. vii. 


24— 52- 


:anto xxxil 


A lake,' whose frozen surface liker seem'd 

To glass than water. Not so thick a veil 

In winter e'er hath Austrian Danube spread 

O'er his still course, nor Tanais far remote 

Under the chilling sky. RoH'd o'er that mas.s 

Had Tabernich or Pietrapana^ fallen. 

Not e'en its rim had creak'd. As peeps the frog 

Croaking above the wave, what time in dreams 

The village gleaner oft pursues her toil. 

So, to where modest shame appears,^ thus low 

Blue pinch'd and shrined in ice the spirits stood, 

Moving their teeth in shrill note like the stork.* 

His face each downward held; their mouth the cold, 

Their eyes express'd the dolour of their heart. 

A space I look'd around, then at my feet 
Saw two so strictly join'd, that of their head 
The very hairs were mingled. " Tell me ye, 
Whose bosoms thus together press," said I, 
"Who are ye?" At that sound their necks they bent; 
And when their looks were lifted up to me, 
Straightway their eyes, before all moist within, 
Distill'd upon their lips, and the frost bound 
The tears betwixt those orbs, and held them there. 
Plank unto plank hath never cramp closed up 
So stoutly. Whence, like two enraged goats, 
They clash'd together: them such fury seized. 

And one, from whom the cold both ears had reft, 
Exclaim'd, still looking downward : " Why on us 
Dost speculate so long? If thou wouldst know 

' A late. — The same torment is introduced into the 
"Edda," compiled in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. 
See the "Song of the Sun," translated by the Rev. James 
Beresford, London, 1805; and compare Warton's "History 
of English Poetry," v. i., dissert, i., r.nd Gray's Pos- 
thumous Works, edited by Mr. Malhias, v. ii., p. 106. 
Indeed, as an escape from " the penalty of Adam, the 
season's difference,' forms one of the most natural topics 
of consolation for the loss of life, so does a renewal of 
that suffering in its fiercest extremes of heat and cold 
bring before the imagination of men in general (except, 
indeed, the terrors of a self-accusing conscience) the 

liveliest idea of future punishment. Refer to Shakeispeare 
and Milton in the Notes to canto iii. 82; and see Douce's 
" Illustrations of Shakespeare," 8vo, 1807, v. i., p. 182. 

' Tabernich or Pictrnpana. — The one a mountain in 
Sclavonia, the other in that tract of country called the 
Garfngnana, not far from Lucca. 

' To where modest shame appears. — " As high as to the 

* Moving their teeth in shrill note like the stork. — 
"Mettendo i uenti in nota di cicogna." 
So Boccaccio, Giorn. viii., Nov. 7: " Lo scolar cattivello 
quasi cicogna divenuto si forte batteva i denti." 





Who are these two,' the valley, whence his wave 

Bisenzio slopes, did for its master own 

Their sire Alberto, and next him themselves. 

They from one body issued : and throughout 

Caina thou mayst search, nor find a shade 

More worthy in congealment to be fix'd ; 

Not him,^ whose breast and shadow Arthur's hand 

At that one blow dissever'd ; not Focaccia ;' 

No, not this spirit, whose o'erjutting head 

Obstructs my onward view : he bore the name 

Of Mascheroni:* Tuscan if thou be. 

Well knowest who he was. And to cut short 

All further question, in my form behold 

What once was Camiccione.* I await 

Carlino* here my kinsman, whose deep guilt 

Shall wash out mine." A thousand visages 

Then mark'd I, which the keen and eager cold 

Had shaped into a doggish grin ; whence creeps 

A shivering horror o'er me, at the thought 

Of those frore shallows. While we journcy'd on 

Toward the middle, at whose point unites 

All heavy substance, and I trembling went 

Through that eternal chillness, I know not 

If wilF it were, or destiny, or chance, 

But, passing 'midst the heads, my foot did strike 

With violent blow against the face of one. 

" Wherefore dost bruise me ?" weeping he exclaim'd. 

' IVho are these two. — Alessandro and Napoleone, 
sons of Alberto Albert!, who murdered each other. They 
were proprietors of the valley of Falterona, where the 
Bisenzio has its source, a river that falls into the Arno, 
about six miles from Florence. 

' Not A///I.— Mordrec, son of King Arthur. In the 
romance of " Lancelot of the Lake," Arthur, having dis- 
covered the traitorous intentions of his son, pierces him 
through with the stroke of his lance, so that the sunbeam 
passes through the body of Mordrec ; and this disruption 
of the shadow is no doubt what our poet alludes to in the 
. text. 

• Focaccia. — Focaccia of Cancellieri (the Pistoian fa- 
mily), whose atrocious act of revenge against his uncle 
is said to have given rise to the parties of the Bianchi 
and Neri, in the year 130a See G. Villani, " Hist.," lib. 
viiL, c. xxxvii., and Macchiavelli, " Hist.," lib. iL The 

account of the latter writer differs much from that given 
by Landino in his " Commentary." 

* Mascheroni.— Sa.%so\ Mascheroni, a Florentine, who 
also murdered his uncle. 

» Cam!ccione. — Ca.m\cc\ont de' Pazzi of Valdarno, 
by whom his kinsman Ubertino was treacherously put to 

' Car/ino.— One of the same family. He betrayed the 
Castel di Piano Travigne,in Valdarno, to the Florentines, 
after the refugees of the Bianca and Ghibelline party had 
defended it against a siege for twenty-nine days, in the 
summer of 1302. See G. Villani, lib. viii., c. lii., and Dino 
Conipagni, lib. ii. 

' // will.— 

" Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate ' 

Milton, Paradise Lost,h. i. 133. 


So— 112. 




" Unless thy errand be some fresh revenge 
For Montaperto/ wherefore troublest me?" 

I thus : " Instructor, now await me here, 
That I through him may rid me of my doubt : 
Thenceforth what haste thou wilt." The teacher paused; 
And to that shade I spake, who bitterly 
Still cursed me in his wrath. "What art thou? speak, 
That railest thus on others?" He replied: 
" Now who art thou, that smiting others' cheeks, 
Through Antenora'^ roamest, with such force 
As were past sufferance, wert thou living still?" 

" And I am living, to thy joy perchance," 
Was my reply, " if fame be dear to thee. 
That with the rest I may thy name enrol." 

" The contrary of what I covet most," 
Said he, " thou tender'st : hence I nor vex me more. 
Ill knowest thou to flatter in this vale." 

Then seizing on his hinder scalp I cried : 
"Name thee, or not a hair shall tarry here." 

" Rend all away," he answer'd, "yet for that 
I will not tell, nor show thee, who I am. 
Though at my head thou pluck a thousand times/* 

Now I had grasp'd his tresses, and stript off 
More than one tuft, he barking, with his eyes 
Drawn in and downward, when another cried, 
"What ails thee, Bocca? Sound not loud enough 
Thy chattering teeth, but thou must bark outright? 
What devil wrings thee ?" " Now," said I, " be dumb, 
'Accursed traitor! To thy shame, of thee 
True tidings will I bear." "Offl" he replied; 
"Tell what thou list: but, as thou 'scape from hence, 
To speak of him whose tongue hath been so glib, 
Forget not : here he wails the Frenchman's gold. 

• Montaficrto. — The defeat of the Guelfi at Montaperto, 
occasioned by the treachery of Bocca degli Abbati, who, 
during the engagement, cut off the hand of Giacopo del 
Vacca de' Pazzi, bearer of the Florentine standard. G. 
Villani, lib. vi., c. Ixxx., and Notes to canto x. This event 
happened in 12C0. 

» Antenora.—" So called from Antenor, who, accord- 
ing to Dictys Cretensis (" De BcUo Troj.," lib. v.) and 
Dares Phrygius ("De Excidio Troj as ") betrayed Troy 
his country." — Lombardi. Antenor acts this part in 
Boccaccio's " Filostrato," and in Chaucer's "Troilus 
anu Creseide." 




' Him of Duera,'* thou canst say, ' I mark'd, 
Where the starved sinners pine.' If thou be ask'd 
What other shade was with them, at thy side 
Is Beccaria,' whose red gorge distain'd 
The biting axe of Florence. Further on, 
If I misdeem not, Soldanieri' bides. 
With Ganeilon,* and Tribaldello,* him 
Who ope'd Faenza when the people slept." 

We now had left him, passing on our way 
When I beheld two spirits by the ice 
Pent in one hollow, that the head of one 
Was cowl unto the other; and as bread 
Is raven'd up through hunger, the uppermost 
Did so apply his fangs to the other's brain. 
Where the spine joins it. Not more furiously 
On Menalippus' temples Tydeus" gnawed, 
Than on that skull and on its garbage he. 

" Oh, thou ! who show'st so beastly sign of hate 
'Gainst him thou prey'st on, let me hear," said 1, 
" The cause, on such condition, that if right 
Warrant thy grievance, knowing who ye are, 
And what the colour of his sinning was, 
I may repay thee in the world above, 
If that, wherewith I speak, be moist so long." 

' Him of Duera. — Buoso of Cremona, of the family of 
Uueia, who was bribed by Guy de Montfort to leave a 
pass between Piedmont and Parma, with the defence of 
which he had been entrusted by the Ghibellincs. open to 
the army of Charles of Anjou, a.D. 1265. at which the 
people of Cremona were so enraged, tliat they extirpated 
the whole family. G. Villani, lib. vii., c iv. 

' Beccaria. — Abbot of Vallombrosa, who was the Pope's 
lejjate at Florence, where his intrigues in favour of the 
Ghibcllines being discovered, he was beheaded. I do 
not find the occurrence in Villani, nor do the com- 
mentators say to what Pope lie was, legate. By Landino 
he is reported to have been from Parma ; by Veilutello, 
from Pavia. 

* .SV/rf:i///>r/. — " Gianni Soldanieri," says Villani 
("Hist.," lib. vii., c. xiv.), "put himself at the head of the 
people, in the hopes of rising into power, not aware that 
the result would be mischief to the Ghibelline party, and 

his own ruin ; an event which seems ever to have befallen 
him who has headed the populace in Florence.'' — A.D 

* Ganellon.—T\it betrayer of Charlemain, mentioned 
by Avchbisliop Turpin. He is a common instance of 
treachery with the poets of the middle ages. 

" Trop son fol e mal pensant. 
Pis Valent que Guenelon." 

Thibaut, Rot de Navarre. 

"Oh, new Scariot and new Ganilion, 
Oh, false dissembler," &c. 

Chaucer, Nonne's Priests s Tale. 

And in the "Monke's Tale, Peter of Spaine." 

» Tribaldello. — Tribaldello de' Manfredi, who was 
bribed to betray the city of Faenza, A.D. 1282. G. 
Villani, lib. vii., c. Ixxx. 

• Tydeus.—S&c Statius, "Thebais," lib. viii. ad finem. 















The poet is told by Count Ugolino de' Gherardeschi of the cruel manner in which he and his children were famished in 
the tower at Pisa, by command of the Archbishop Ruggieri. He next discourses of the third round, called Ptolomea, 
wherein those are punished who have betrayed others under the semblance of kindness ; and among these he finds 
the Friar Alberigo de' Manfredi, who tells him of one whose soul was already tormented in that place, though his 
body appeared still to be alive upon the earth, being yielded up to the governance of a fiend. 

T T IS jaws uplifting from their fell repast, 

That sinner wiped them on the hairs o' the head. 
Which he behind had mangled, then began : 
"Thy will obeying, I call up afresh 
Sorrow past cure ; which, but to think of, wrings 
My heart, or ere I tell on 't. But if words. 
That I may utter, shall prove seed to bear 
Fruit of eternal infamy to him. 
The traitor whom I gnaw at, thou at once 
Shalt see me speak and weep. Who thou mayst be 
I know not, nor how here below art come: t 

But Florentine thou seemest of a truth, 
When I do hear thee. Know, I was on earth 
Count Ugolino,^ and the Archbishop he 

• Count l/golino.—" In the year 1288, in the month of 
July, Pisa was much divided by competitors for the 
sovereignty; one party, composed of certain of the Guelfi, 
being headed by the Judge Nino di Gallura de' Visconti; 
another, consisting of others of the same faction, by the 
Count Ugolino de* Gherardeschi ; and a third by the 
Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini, with the Lanfranclii, 
Sismondi, Gualandi, and other Ghibelline houses. The 
Count Ugolino, to effect his purpose, united with the 
Archbishop and his party, and having betrayed Nino, 
his sister's son, they contrived that he and his followers 
should either be driven out of Pisa, or their persons 
seized. Nino hearing this, and not seeing any means of 
defending himself, retired to Calci, his castle, and formed 
an alliance with the Florentines and people of Lucca, 
against the Pisans. The Count, before Nino was gone, 
in order to cover his treachery, when everything was 
settled for his expulsion, quitted Pisa, and repaired to a 
manor of his called Settimo ; whence, as soon as he was 

informed of Nino's departure, he returned to Pisa with 
great rejoicing and festivity, and was elevated to the 
supreme power with every demonstration of triumph and 
honour. But his greatness was not of long continuance. 
It pleased the Almighty that a total reverse of fortune 
should ensue, as a punishment for his acts of treachery 
and guilt; for he was said to have poisoned the Count 
Ansclmo da Capraia, his sister's son, on account of the 
envy and fear excited in his mind by the high esteem in 
which the gracious manners of Ansclmo were held by 
the Pisans. The power of the Guelfi being so much 
diminished, the Archbishop devised means to betray the 
Count Ugolino, and caused him to be suddenly attacked 
in his palace by the fury of the people, whom he had 
exasperated, by telling them that Ugolino had betrayed 
Pisa, and given up their castles to the citizens of Florence 
and of Lucca. He was immediately compelled to sur- 
render ; his bastard son and his grandson fell in the 
assault ; and two of his sons, with their two sons also, 




Ruggieri. Why I neighbour him so close, 

Now list. That through effect of his ill thoughts 

In him my trust reposing, I was ta'en 

And after murder'd, need is not I tell. 

What therefore thou canst not have heard, that is, 

How cruel was the murder, shalt thou hear. 

And know if he have wrong'd me. A small grate 

Within that mew, which for my sake the name 

Of famine bears, vvhere others yet must pine. 

Already through its opening several moons' 

Had shown me, when I slept the evil sleep 

That from the future tore the curtain off. 

This one, methought, as master of the sport, 

Rode forth to chase the gaunt wolf, and his whelps, 

Unto the mountain^ which forbids the sight 

Of Lucca to the Pisan. With lean braches 

Inquisitive and keen, before him ranged 

Lanfranchi with Sismondi and Gualandi. 

After short course the father and the sons 

Seem'd tired and lagging, and methought I saw 

The sharp tusks gore their sides. When I awoke, 

Before the dawn, amid their sleep I heard 

My sons (for they were with me) weep and ask 

For bread. Right cruel art thou, if no pang 

Thou feel at thinking what my heart foretold ; 

And if not now, why use thy tears to flow? 

Now had they waken'd ; and the hour drew near 

When they were wont to bring us food ; the mind 

•ere conve)-ed to prison."— C Villani, lib. vii., c. cxx. 
* In the following March, the Pisans, who imprisoned 
the Count Ugolino, witli two of his sons and two of his 
grandchildren, the odTspring of his son the Count Guelfo, 
in a tower on the Piazza of the Anziani, caused the tower 
to be locked, the key thrown into tl)e Arno, and all food 
to be withheld from them. In a few days they died of 
hunger ; but the Count first with loud cries declared his 
penitence, and yet neither priest nor friar was allowed to 
shrive him. All the five, when dead, were dragged out of 
the prison, and meanly interred ; and from thenceforward 
the tower was called the Tower of Famine, and so shall 
ever he."— /iid., c. cxxvii. Troya asserts that Dante, lor 
the sake of poetical effect, has much misrepresented the 

real facts. See his " Veltro Allegorico di Dante," ed. 
1826, p. 28, 29. This would render a conjecture, which 
the same writer elsewhere hazards, still more improbable ; 
that the story might have been written by Dante when 
the facts were yet recent, and afterwards introduced into 
his poem. — /iiii., p. 96. Chaucer has briefly told 
Ugolino's story. See " Monke's Tale, Hugeline of Pise." 

' Several moons. — Many editions, and the greater part 
of the MSS., instead of "piii lune," read "piulume;" 
according to which reading Ugolino would say, that the 
day had broke, and shone through the grated window of 
the prison, before he fell asleep. 

' Unto the mountain.— The. mountain S. Giuliano, 
between Pisa and Lucca. 









1— t 







































Of each misgave him through his dream, and I 

Heard, at its outlet underneath lock'd up 

The horrible tower : whence, uttering not a word, 

I look'd upon the visage of my sons. 

I wept not : so all stone I felt within.' 

They wept : and one, my little Anselm, cried, 

'Thou lookest so I Father, what ails thee?' Yet 

I shed no tear, nor answer'd all that day 

Nor the next night, until another sun 

Came out upon the world. When a faint beam 

Had to our doleful prison made its way, 

And in four countenances I descried 

The image of my own, on either hand 

Through agony I bit ; and they, who thought 

I did it through desire of feeding, rose 

O' the sudden, and cried, ' Father, we should grieve 

Far less, if thou wouldst eat of us : thou gavest^ 

These weeds of miserable flesh we wear; 

And do thou strip them off from us again,' 

Then, not to make them sadder, I kept down 

My spirit in stillness. That day and the next 

We all were silent. Ah, obdurate earth 1 

Why open'dst not upon us ? When we came 

To the fourth day, then Gaddo at my feet 

Outstretch'd did fling him, crying, ' Hast no help 

For me, my father?' There he died; and e'en 

Plainly as thou seest me, saw I the three 

Fall one by one 'twixt the fifth day and sixth: 

Whence I betook me, now grown blind, to grope 

Over them all, and for three days aloud 

Call'd on them who were dead. Then, fasting got 

The mastery of grief." Thus having spoke. 

' AH stone T felt within. — 

"My heart is turn'd to stone; I strike it, and it hurts 
my hand." 

Shakespeare, Othello, Act iv., sc. I. 
' Thou gavest. — 

" Tu ne vestisti 
Queste misere carni, e tu le spoglia." 

Imitated by Filicaja, canz. iii. : 

" Di questa Imperial caduca spoglia 
Tu, Signor, me vestisti e tu mi spo<;lia : 
Ben puoi '1 Regno me tor tu che me '1 desti." 

And by Maffei iu the " Merope :" 

" Tu disciogleste 
Queste misere membra e tu le annodi." 



rs— 106. 

Once more upon the wretched skull his teeth 

He fasten'd like a mastiff's 'gainst the bone, 

Firm and unyielding. Oh, thou Pisa I shame 

Of all the people, who their dwelling make 

In that fair region,' where the Italian voice 

Is heard ; .since that thy neighbours are so slack 

To punish, from their deep foundations rise 

Capraia and Gorgona,* and dam up 

The mouth of Arno ; that each soul in thee 

May perish in the waters. What if fame 

Reported that .thy castles were betray'd 

By Ugolino, yet no right hadst thou 

To stretch his children on the rack. For them, 

Brigata, Uguccione, and the pair 

Of gentle ones, of whom my song hath told, 

Their tender years, thou modern Thebes, did make 

Uncapable of guilt. Onward we pass'd, 

Where others, scarf'd in rugged folds of ice, 

Not on their feet were turn'd, but each reversed. 

There, very weeping suffers not to weep;^ 
For, at their eyes, grief, seeking passage, finds 
Impediment, and rolling inward turns 
For increase of sharp anguish : the first tears 
Hang cluster'd, and like crystal vizors show, 
Under the socket brimming all the cup. 

Now though the cold had from my face dislodged 
Each feeling, as 'twere callous, yet me seem'd 
Some breath of wind I felt. " Whence cometh this," 
Said I, " my master ? Is not here below 
All vapour quench'd ?" "Thou sh. t be speedily," 
He answer'd, " where thine eyes shall tell thee whence, 
The cause descrying of this airy shower." 

' In that fair region. — 

" Del bel paese 14, dove 1 s) suona." 
luly, as explained by Dante himself, in his treatise 
** De Vulgari Eloqucntia," lib. i., cap. 8 : " Qui autem 
^■i dicunt a prasdictis finibus (Januensium) Orientalem 
(Mcridionalis Europx partem) tenent ; videlicet usque 
ad promontorium iUud Italiae, qua sinus Adriatici maris 
incipit et Siciliam." 

• Capraia and Gorgona.—SmzW islands near the mouth 
of the Arno. 
' There, very weeping suffers not to weep. — 

" Lo pianto stesso 11 pianger non lascia." 

So Giusto de' Conti, "Bella Mano," son. " Quanto 11 
ciel :" 

" Che il troppo pianto a me pianger non lassa." 






Then cried out one, in the chill crust who mourn'd : 
" Oh, souls I so cruel, that the farthest post 
Hath been assign 'd you, from this face remove 
The harden'd veil ; that I may vent the grief 
Impregnate at my heart, some little space, 
Ere it congeal again." I thus replied : 
'* Say who thou wast, if thou wouldst have mine aid ; 
And if I extricate thee not, far down 
As to the lowest ice may I descend." 

"The friar Alberigo,"' ansvver'd he, 
"Am I, who from the evil garden pluck'd 
Its fruitage, and am here repaid, the date^ 
More luscious for my fig." "Ah!" I exclaim'd, • 
"Art thou too dead?" "How in the world aloft 
It fareth with my body," answer'd he, 
" I am right ignorant. Such privilege 
Hath Ptolomea,* that oft-times the soul* 
Drops hither, ere by Atropos divorced. 
And that thou mayst wipe out more willingly 
The glazed tear-drops^ that o'erlay mine eyes, 
Know that the soul, that moment she betrays. 
As I did, yields her body to a fiend 
Who after moves and governs it at will, 
Till all its time be rounded : headlong she 
Falls to this cistern. And perchance above 
Doth yet appear the body of a ghost. 
Who here behind me winters. Him thou know'st, 

' TTie friar Alberigo. — Alberigo de' Manfredi of 
Faenza, one of the Frati Godenti, Joyous Friars, who 
having quarrelled with some of his brotherhood, under 
pretence of wishing to be reconciled, invited them to a 
banquet, at the conclusion of which he called for the 
fruit, a signal for the assassins to rush in and dispatch 
those whom he had marked for destruction. Hence, 
adds Landino, it is said proverbially of one who has been 
stabbed, that he has had some of the friar Alberigo's 
fruit Thus Pulci, " Morgante Maggiore," c. xxv. : 

'' Le frutte amare di frate Albeiico." 
• The date — 

" Come Dio rende dataro per fico." 
Fazio df-sli Uberti, Dittamondo, 1. iv., cap. xix. 

' Ptolomea. — This circle is named Ptolomea from 

Ptolemy, the son of Abubus, by whom Simon and his 
sons were murdered, at a great banquet he had made for 
them (see i Mace, xvi.) ; or from Ptolemy, King of 
Egypt, the betrayer of Pompey the Great. 

* The soul. — Chaucer seems to allude to this in the 
" Frere's Tale." where a fiend assumes the person of a 
yeoman, and tells the Sompnour that he shall one day 
come to a place where he shall understand the mystery 
of such possessions — 

" Bet than Virgile, while he was on live^ 
Or Dant also." 

See Mr. Southey's "Tale of Donica," 
' The glazed tear-drops. — 

" Sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears 

Shakespeare, Richard II., Act ii., sc. "k. 




If thou but newly art arrived below. 
The years are many that have past away, 
Since to this fastness Branca Doria' came." 

" Now," answer'd I, " methinks thou mockest me; 
For Branca Doria never yet hath died, 
But doth all natural functions of a man, 
Eats, drinks, and sleeps,^ and putteth raiment on." 

He thus : " Not yet unto that upper fosse 
By th' evil talons guarded, where the pitch 
Tenacious boils, had Michel Zanche reach'd, 
When this one left a demon in his stead 
In his own body, and of one his kin, 
Who with him treachery wrought. But now put forth 
Thy hand, and ope mine eyes." I oped them not. 
Ill manners were best courtesy to him. 

Ah, Genoese I men perverse in every way. 
With every foulness stain'd, why from the earth 
Are ye not cancell'd ? Such a one of yours 
I with Romagna's darkest spirit^ found, 
As, for his doings, even now in soul 
Is in Cocytus plunged, and yet doth seem 
In body still alive upon the earth. 

' Branca Doria. — The family of Doria was possessed 
of great influence in Genoa. Branca is said to have 
murdered his father-in-law, Michel Zanche, introduced in 
canto xxii. 

* Eaii, drinks, andilupa. — 

" But 'tis a spirit 
Pro. No, wench ; it eats and sleeps, and hath such senses 
As we have, such." 

Shakespeare, Tempest, Act L, sc 2. 

» Romagna's darkest spirit.— The friar Albcrigo. 




In the fourth and last round of the ninth circle, those who have betrayed their benefactors are wholly covered with 
ice. And in the midst is Lucifer, at whose back Dante and Virgil ascend, till by a secret path they reach the 
surface of the other hemisphere of the earth, and once more obtain sight of the stars. 

"HP HE banners^ of Hell's Monarch do come forth 

Toward us ; therefore look," so spake my guide, 
*' If thou discern him." As, when breathes a cloud 
Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night 
Fall on our hemisphere, seems view'd from far 
A windmill,^ which the blast stirs briskly round ; 
Such was the fabric then methought I saw. 

To shield me from the wind, forthwith I drew 
Behind my guide : no covert else was there. 

Now came I (and with fear I bid my strain 
Record the marvel) where the souls were all 
Whelm'd underneath, transparent, as through glass 
Pellucid the frail stem. Some prone were laid ; 
Others stood upright, this upon the soles, 
That on his head, a third with face to feet 
Arch'd like a bow. When to the point we came, 
Whereat my guide was pleased that I should see 
The creature eminent in beauty once, 
He from before me stepp'd and made me pause. 

"Lol" he exclaim'd, " lo ! Dis ; and lo! the place, 
Where thou hast need to arm thy heart with strength." 

How frozen and how faint I then became, 

' 771* tanners. — 

" Vexilla regis prodeunt inferni." 
A parody of the first verse in a hymn that was sung by 
the Church in praise of the cross. 

' A •windmill— Ta^ author of the "Caliph Vathek," 
in the notes to that tale, justly observes that it is more 
than probable that Don Quixote's mistake of the wind- 
mills for giants was suggested to Cervantes by this simile. 




Ask me not, reader I for I write it not; 
Since words would fail to tell thee of my state. 
"I was not dead nor living.' Think thyself, 
If quick conception work in thee at all, 
How I did feel. That emperor, who sways 
The realm of sorrow, at mid breast from the ice 
Stood forth; and I in stature am more like 
A giant,'' than the giants are his arms. 
Mark now how great that whole must be, which suits 
With such a part. If he were beautiful 
As he is hideous now, and yet did dare 
To scowl upon his Maker, well from him 
May ali our misery flow. Oh, what a sight ! 
How passing strange it seem'd, when I did spy 
Upon his head three faces :^ one in front 
Of hue vermilion, the other two with this 
Midway each shoulder join'd and at the crest; 
The right 'twixt wan and yellow seem'd ; the left 
To look on, such as come from whence old Nile 
Stoops to the lowlands. Under each shot forth 
Two mighty wings, enormous as became 
A bird so vast. Sails* never such I saw 

' / a«w not dead nor living. — 

" oSr' Iv role ^S'/xevoic, 
oSr^ iv iaaiv apiOfioifiei'Ti." 

Euripides, Supplices, v. 979, Maikland's edit. 

"Turn ibi me nescio quis arripit 
Timidam atque pavidam, nee vivam ncc nioituain." 

Platitus, Curculio, Act v., sc. 2. 
' A giant. — 

* Nel primo clima sta come signore 

Colli giganti ; ed un delle sue braccie 
Piu che nuUo di loro e assai maggioie." 

Frezzi, II Qiiadiiregio, lib. ii., cap. i. 

• Three faces. — It can scarcely be doubted but that 
Milton derived his description of Satan in those lines — 

" Each passion dimm'd his face 
Thrice changed with pale ire, envy, and despair" — 
Paradise Lost, b. iv. 144 — 

from this passage, coupled with the remark of Vellutcllo 
tipon it: "The first of these sins is anger, which he sig- 
nifies by the red face ; the second, represented by that 
between pale and yellow, is envy, and not, as others have 
said, avarice; and the third, denoted by the black, is 
a melancholy humour that causes a man's thoughts to be 
dark and evil, and averse from all joy and tranquillity." 

Lombardi would understand the three faces to signify the 
three parts of the world then known, in all of which 
Lucifer had his subjects : the red denoting the Europeans, 
who were in tl\e middle; the yellow, the Asiatics, on the 
rigiit; and the black, the Africans, who were on the left; 
according to the position of the faces themselves. 
* Sails.^ 

" Argo non ebbe mai si grande vela, 
Ne altra nave, come I'ali sue ; 
Ne mai tessuta fCi si grande tela." 

Frezzi, II Quadriregio, lib. ii., cap. xuc 

" His sail-broad vans 
He spreads for flight." 

Afilton, Paradise Lost, b. ii. 927. 

Compare Spenser, "Faery Queen," b. i., c'. xi., st. 10; 
Ben jonson's " Every Man out of his Humour," v. 7 ; and 
Fletcher's " Prophetess," Act ii., sc 3. In his descrip- 
tion of Satan, Frezzi departed not less from Dante 
than our own poet has done; for he has painted him on 
a high throne, with a benignant and glad countenance, 
yet full of majesty, a triple crown on his head, six shining 
wings on his shoulders, and a court tlironged with 
giants, centaurs, and mighty captains, besides youths and 
damsels, who are disporting in the neighbouring meadows 
with song and dance; but no sooner does Minerva, who 





Outstretch'd on the wide sea. No plumes had they, 
But were in texture like a bat ;i and these 
He flapp'd i' th' air, that from him issued still 
Three winds, wherewith Cocytus to its depth 
Was frozen. At six eyes he wept : the tears 
Adown three chins distill'd with bloody foam. 
At every mouth his teeth a sinner champ'd, 
Bruised as with ponderous engine ; so that three 
Were in this guise tormented. But far more 
Than from that gnawing, was the foremost pang'd 
By the fierce rending, whence oft-times the back 
Was stript of all its skin. " That upper spirit. 
Who hath worst punishment," so spake my guide, 
" Is Judas, he that hath his head within 
And plies the feet without. Of th' other two, 
Whose heads are under, from the murky jaw 
Who hangs, is Brutus :^ lo ! how he doth writhe 
And speaks not. The other, Cassius, that appears 
So large of limb. But night now re-ascends ; 
And it is time for parting. All is seen." 

I clipp'd him round the neck ; for so he bade ; 
And noting time and place, he, when the wings 

is the author's conductress, present her crystal shield, than 
all this triumph and jollity is seen through it transformed 
into loatlisomeness and hoiTor. There are many touches 
in this picture that will remind the reader of Milton. 

' Like a hat. — The description of an imaginary being, 
who is called Typhurgo, in the " Zodiacus Vita," has 
something very like this of Dante's Lucifer: 

" Ingentem vidi regem, ingentique sedentem 
In solio, crines flammanti stcmmate cinctum, 

utrinque patentes 

Alae humeris magna, quales vespertilionum 

Membranis contextJE amplis — 

Nuduserat longis scd opertus corpora villis." 

M. Paliiigenii, Zodiacus Vita, lib. ix. 

"A mighty king I might discerne, 
Placed high on lofty chaire, 
His haire with fyry garland dcckt 
Puft up in fiendish wise. 

• ■ • a • . . 

Large wings on him did grow 

Framde like the wings of Hinder mice," &c. 

Cooges Tratislation. 

' /Jr/z/z/j.— l.andino stniggles, but, 1 fear, in vain, to 
extricate Brutus from the unworthy lot which is here 

assigned him. He maintains that by Brutus and Cassius 
are not meant the individuals known by those names, 
but any who put a lawful monarch to death. Yet if 
Caesar was such, the conspirators might be regarded as 
deserving of their doom. "O uomini eccellenti !" ex- 
claims the commentator, with a spirit becoming one wlio 
felt that he lived in a free state, "cd al tutto degni a quali 
Roma fosse patria, e de' quali restera sempre eterna 
memoria; legginsi tutte le leggi di qualunque republica 
bene instituta, e troveremo che a nessuno si propose 
maggior premio che a chi uccide il tiranno." Cowley, as 
conspicuous for his loyalty as for his genius, in an ode 
inscribed with the name of this patriot, which, though not 
free from the usual faults of the poet, is yet a noble one, 
has placed his character in the right point of view — 

" Excellent Brutus ! of all human race 
The best, till nature was improved by gi-ace." 

If Dante, however, believed Brutus to have been actuated 
by evil motives in putting Cresar to death, the excellence 
of the patriot's character in other respects would only 
have aggravated his guilt in that particular. " Totius 
autem injustitiae nulla capitalior est quam eorum, qui cum 
maxime fallunt id agunt, ut viri boni esse videantur."— 
Cicero de OJJiciis, lib. i., cap. xiiL 

1 82 THE VISION. 67—101. 

Enoup;h were ope'd, caught fast the shaggy sides. 
And down from pile to pile descending stepp'd 
Between the thick fell and the jagged ice- 
Soon as he reach'd the point, whereat the thigh 
Upon the swelling of the haunches turns, 
My leader there, with pain and struggling hard, 
Turn'd round his head where his feet stood before, 
And grappled at the fell as one who mounts ; 
That into hell methought we turn'd again. 

" Expect that by such stairs as these," thus spake 
The teacher, panting like a man forespent, 
•'We must depart from evil so extreme:" 
Then at a rocky opening issued forth, 
And placed me on the brink to sit, next join'd 
With wary step my side. I raised mine eyes, 
Believing that I Lucifer should see 
Where he was lately left, but saw him now 
With legs held upward. Let the grosser sort, 
Who see not what the point was I had past, 
Bethink them if sore toil oppress'd me then, 

"Arise," my master cried, "upon thy feet. 
The way is long, and much uncouth the road ; 
And now within one hour and half of noon' 
The sun returns." It was no palace hall 
Lofty and luminous wherein we stood. 
But natural dungeon where ill-footing was 
And scant supply of light. " Ere from the abyss 
I separate," thus when risen I began : 
" My guide I vouchsafe few words to set me free 
From error's thraldom. Where is now the ice? 
How standeth he in posture thus reversed? 
And how from eve to morn in space so brief 
Hath the sun made his transit?" He in few 
Thus answering spake : " Thou deemest thou art still 
On the other side the centre, where I grasp'd 

* Within one hour and half 0/ noon.— The poet uses | which the third hour answers to our twelve o'clock at 
the Hebrew manner of computing the day, according to I noon. 



A »83. 

By that hidden way 
My guide and I did enter, to return 
To the fair world. 

Canto XXXIV., lines 127-129. 

A «83- 

Thence issuing we again beheld the stars. 

Canto XXXIV., Uiu 133 

102 — 133- 



The abhorred worm that boreth through the world. 

Thou wast on the other side, so long as I 

Descended ; when I turn'd, thou didst o'erpass 

That point,^ to which from every part is dragg'd 

All heavy substance. Thou art now arrived 

Under the hemisphere opposed to that, 

Which the great continent doth overspread, 

And underneath whose canopy expired 

The Man, that was born sinless and so lived. 

Thy feet are planted on the smallest sphere, 

Whose other aspect is Judecca. Morn 

Here rises, when there evening sets : and he, 

Whose shaggy pile we scaled, yet standeth fix'd, , 

As at the lirst. On this part he fell down 

From heaven ; and th' earth, here prominent before, 

Through fear of him did veil her with the sea, 

And to our hemisphere retired. Perchance, 

To shun him, was the vacant space left here, 

By what of firm land on this side appears,^ 

That sprang aloof." There is a place beneath, 

From Beelzebub as distant, as extends 

The vaulted tomb ;^ discover'd not by sight. 

But by the sound of brooklet, that descends 

This way along the hollow of a rock. 

Which, as it winds with no precipitous course, 

The wave hath eaten. By that hidden way 

My guide and 1 did enter, to return 

To the fair world : and heedless of repose 

We climb'd, he first, I following his steps. 

Till on our view the beautiful lights of heaven 

Dawn'd through a circular opening in the cave; 

Thence issuing we again beheld the stars. 

• T^at point. — Monti observes that if this passage had 
chanced to meet the eye of Newton, it might better have 
awakened his thought to conceive the system of attrac- 
tion, than the accidental falling of an apple. — Proposta, v. 
iiL, part 2, p. Ixxviii. 8vo, 1824. 

' By what of frm land on this side appears. — The 
mountain of Purgatory. 

' As extends the vaulted tomb. — " La tomba." This 
word is used to express the whole depth of the infernal 









PQ 4315.2 .C4 1866 SMC 

Dante Al ighieri , 

Dante's Inferno 47087424